Serious Crime Bill Report Stage

Serious Crime Bill, Report Stage House of Commons

23 February 2015

The LGA's key messages are:

  • MPs should support new clause 16 which would make it an offence to encourage the practice of FGM
  • MPs are also encouraged to support new clause 15 (Encouragement of FGM warning notice and orders (EWNs and EWOs))
  • LGA has serious concerns with the proposal to introduce mandatory reporting of FGM at this time
  • New clause 17: MPs should explore how the proposal may work in practice.

LGA briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Report Stage, House of Commons


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Commons

20 January 2015

The LGA's key messages are:

  • Those working among communities in Britain where Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is practised report very significant support among these groups for Type 1 and Type 2 FGM.
  • A significant contributing factor is the encouragement of FGM by elders or prominent members of the community, particularly in small gatherings and informal settings 'behind the scenes'.
  • MPs should support new clause 28 which would make it an offence to encourage the practice of FGM and help protect at-risk girls and young women.
  • MPs are also encouraged to support new clause 26 (Encouragement of FGM warning notice and orders (EWNs and EWOs)) which would also have the effect of protecting young women and girls from harm as a result of the encouragement of FGM.

LGA briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Commons


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Commons

13 January 2015

  • We welcome provisions in the Serious Crime Bill (the Bill) which strengthen the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002). However, a greater share of the assets recovered from offenders should be reinvested in the communities and neighbourhoods affected by their criminal activities and put towards preventing crime and addressing the consequences of it.
  • The LGA recommends MPs seek clarification from the Government as to the outcome of the review of the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (ARIS) by the Home Office.
  • The LGA urges MPs to support Amendment 34 tabled by Elfyn Llwyd MP which would ensure a greater share of the assets recovered from criminals is handed back to the local enforcement agencies which carried out the investigations and prosecutions necessary to bring the criminals to justice.

LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Commons


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Second Reading, House of Commons

5 January 2015

  • The LGA is focusing on the provisions concerning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Part 5 of the Serious Crime Bill.
  • Eliminating FGM requires changing culture but work towards this is being disrupted by those who promote the religious or cultural justifications for carrying out FGM and, in doing so, place parents under huge social pressure.
  • Legislation is needed to prevent people from encouraging FGM, thereby preventing the perpetuation of it at source. The LGA will therefore be pursuing an amendment to the Bill which would create a specific offence of encouraging FGM.

LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Second Reading, House of Commons


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Report Stage, House of Lords

28 October 2014

  • According to a study commissioned by Equality Now and City University, an estimated 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales are affected by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
  • The NHS has now begun to collect data and, according to their first recently published report for September 2014, 467 female patients treated at reporting acute NHS hospital trusts in England were newly identified as having been subjected to FGM. The data also showed that 1,279 female patients previously identified as having been subjected to FGM were being treated at the end of September 2014.
  • Eliminating FGM requires changing culture and there is already considerable work being undertaken by individuals and organisations in the communities affected to encourage this. The LGA has heard from the British Arab Federation, the Association of British Muslims and councils that their messages about the need to change cultural practices are encountering resistance.
  • Peers should support Baroness Meacher's amendment which would make it an offence to encourage and promote the practice of FGM. This would make it easier to bring cases against people who advocate it, whether they reside in or are visiting the UK. Introducing this offence would help bring about the long term change in practice and custom that is needed to tackle FGM in the communities where it happens.

LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Report Stage, House of Lords


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Report Stage, House of Lords

28 October 2014

The LGA's key messages are:

  • Amendment 43 would introduce mandatory reporting of known or suspected child abuse by all providers of regulated activities involving children or adults. While the LGA appreciates the intentions of such an approach, we would encourage Peers to explore how the proposal may work in practice. It is vitally important that any reform does not have the unintended consequence of overloading the system with cases where the child is clearly not in danger of abuse or neglect.

LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Report Stage, House of Lords


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Lords

15 July 2014

The LGA's key messages are:

  • Peers should support amendment 40BA which would make it an offence to encourage and promote the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This would make it easier to bring cases against people who advocate it, whether they reside in or are visiting the UK. Introducing this offence would help bring about the long term change in practice and custom that is needed to tackle FGM in the communities where it happens.
  • Amendment 40C would introduce mandatory reporting of child abuse by all providers of regulated activities involving children or adults. While the LGA appreciates the intentions of such an approach, we would encourage Peers to explore how the proposal may work in practice. It is vitally important that any reform does not have the unintended consequence of overloading the system with cases where the child is clearly not in danger of abuse or neglect.
  • > Emotional abuse has been recognised as a significant child protection issue for a number of years, and it is right that clause 62 brings the criminal law into line with the legislative framework that social workers already follow.

LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Lords


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Lords

8 July 2014

The LGA's key messages are:

  • The LGA is concerned that clause 41 (the offence of participating in activities of organised crime group) would capture the direct or indirect activities of councils and their employees, such as the granting of licences, letting of contracts and provision of housing.
  • Peers are requested to seek clarification from the Government about the circumstances in which clause 41 would apply to the activities of local authorities.
  • If councils are caught by the provisions of clause 41, the LGA would urge Peers to seek assurances from the Government that the local profiles on organised crime activity being developed as part of the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy contain sufficient intelligence detail for local authorities to take action.

LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Lords


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Lords

2 July 2014

The LGA's key messages are:

  • While we welcome provisions in the Serious Crime Bill (the Bill) which strengthen the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002), a greater share of the assets recovered from offenders should be reinvested in the communities and neighbourhoods affected by their criminal activities and put towards preventing crime and addressing the consequences of it.
  • The LGA urges Peers to seek clarification from Lord Taylor as to the terms of the review and whether it will consider placing ARIS on a formal legislative basis and allow local authorities, in their roles as investigating and prosecuting authorities, to receive more than 50 per cent in the division of the proceeds of crime.

LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Committee Stage, House of Lords


LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Second Reading, House of Lords

16 June 2014

The LGA's key messages are:

  • While we welcome provisions in the Serious Crime Bill (the Bill) which strengthen the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002), a greater share of the assets recovered from offenders should be reinvested in the communities and neighbourhoods affected by their criminal activities and put towards preventing crime and addressing the consequences of it.
  • The LGA urges Peers to seek clarification as to whether the offence of participating in the activities of an organised crime group (clause 41) could apply to the activities of local government, such as the provision of housing or licensing.
  • It is right that, by criminalising child emotional abuse, the criminal law is brought into line with the legislative framework that social workers already follow. However, the LGA urges caution that the legislation is effectively targeted at the perpetrators of abuse and does not have unintended consequences on vulnerable individuals in impossible situations, such as victims of domestic violence whose children have witnessed their abuse.
  • A further amendment to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 to encompass those who advocate female genital mutilation (FGM) for religious or cultural reasons should be considered. A specific offence of inciting and condoning the practice of FGM would make it easier to bring cases against those who advocate it, whether they reside in or are visiting the UK.

LGA Briefing: Serious Crime Bill, Second Reading, House of Lords


19 June 2015