Giles WatlingMain Page: Giles Watling (Conservative - Clacton)
Department Debates - View all Giles Watling's debates with the Ministry of Justice
I am always keen, as the hon. Gentleman knows, to make sure that the law in England and Wales is consistent. I will, of course, look carefully at that particular issue. The report is welcome as we particularly looked at a read-across to scrap metal and the way in which we banned cash payments there. The evidence is emerging, and we are gathering it as quickly as possible. We will do everything we can, consistent with an appropriate approach, to deal with this type of illegitimate trade in defenceless animals.
I am extremely sorry to hear about the event in my hon. Friend’s constituency, and I am pleased that he has raised it on the Floor of the House. He will know that, for the last two years, we have made dismantling the county lines business model a key priority of our work between the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. He will be pleased to know that, following significant investment in the key exporting forces of London, the west midlands and Liverpool—Merseyside police—we have made significant progress. We reckon that we have managed to dismantle about a third of the county lines, but there is still significant work to do. He will be pleased to know that some counties, such as Essex and Norfolk, are showing significant success, but there is still a lot more to do to overcome this pernicious and particularly unpleasant business model that focuses on exploiting young and vulnerable people as part of its way of making money. I assure him that we will not stint over the coming years in trying to eradicate county lines from our country.