Welsh Government statement: Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill
Jane Hutt MS, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Welsh Government has released a statement setting out some key concerns.
On 9 March the UK Government introduced the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The Bill includes a raft of controversial proposals around law and order. It received its Second Reading in the House of Commons last week, and a majority of MPs voted in favour for it to move to its Committee Stage.
Allison Hulmes National Director for Wales commented on the statement: "I am heartened by the ethical response of Jane Hutt (MS) Equalities Minister, who has listened to concerns raised by the communities and campaigning organisations in Wales, around the impact of the Bill on Gypsies and Travellers human rights, identity and culture. Wales is committed to being an anti-racist country and this Bill is in no way consistent with this aim.'
BASW UK will use our voice to oppose the measures that we believe are harmful to individuals and society. Some of the key measures in the Bill include:
- Strengthening police powers to tackle non-violent protests that have a significant disruptive effect on the public or access to Parliament
- Strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments, where trespassers cause distress and misery to local communities and businesses
- Making it illegal for any person in a position of trust to engage in sexual activity with under 18s who they are responsible for
- The introduction of a ‘sliding-scale’ for sentencing for under 18s. This changes the ‘starting point’ of a sentence, which increases with age and the severity of the crime.
- Where a person who does not have capacity is asked to handover a personal device so that information can be extracted from it for police matters, a social worker or relevant person such as a parent or guardian can give permission and hand over the device on behalf of the person who does not have capacity.
- A minimum 10-year sentence for vandalism of statues