Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan

Debate between Lord Bishop of Derby and Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Wednesday 29th March 2023

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Bishop of Derby Portrait The Lord Bishop of Derby
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My Lords, I declare my interest as vice-chair of the Children’s Society. I read the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan with real interest. Criminalising young people through tackling anti-social behaviour is counterproductive, not least given the pressures on the criminal justice system. I am therefore pleased to see a focus on preventive work with at-risk and vulnerable children with expanded funding for youth offending teams, for example. Can the Minister commit to look again at a definition of child criminal exploitation that recognises the abuse and manipulation of vulnerable children, which catches them up into what can become quite horrific spirals of crime? Such a definition would offer them greater protection.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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I take what the right reverend Prelate says very seriously. She raised very interesting points. She will appreciate that it is above my pay grade to commit to look at definitions and so on, but I will certainly take that back and make sure that discussions are advanced on the subject.

Black and Minority-ethnic Children: Police Strip-searches

Debate between Lord Bishop of Derby and Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Monday 27th March 2023

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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I do not feel particularly qualified to comment on that.

Lord Bishop of Derby Portrait The Lord Bishop of Derby
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My Lords, I declare an interest as vice-chair of the Children’s Society. I join other noble Lords in expressing horror at the findings of the Children’s Commissioner’s report. It is vital that children are treated as children at all times. Can the Minister reassure the House that children are treated and recognised as children within every aspect of the criminal justice system?

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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In areas where the Home Office collects data—for example, on custody—I can reassure the House that that is the case. For example, in 99% of cases where searches involved children in custody, an appropriate adult was present. Obviously, this report has identified failings in other parts of the system. We are awaiting the right inputs in order to make a detailed and thoughtful review, and as soon as that is the case I am sure I will be able to give the right reverend Prelate more broad reassurance.