Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill — Report (6th Day) — Amendment 160 — 17 Jan 2022 at 12:15

Moved by Lord Best

160: After Clause 62, insert the following new Clause-“Repeal of Vagrancy Act 1824(1) The Vagrancy Act 1824 is repealed.(2) In this section-“the 2014 Act” means the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014;“begging” means asking for gifts on streets or in other public places (for which purpose it is immaterial whether gifts are of money or in kind, whether they are expressed as gifts or as loans, and whether a person asks expressly or impliedly, by displaying receptacles for donations or otherwise; but “begging” does not include soliciting donations to a registered charity with the express written authority of that charity);“registered charity” means a charity registered under section 30 of the Charities Act 2011, or exempted or excepted from registration under or by virtue of that section; and “sleeping rough” means sleeping (or making preparations to sleep, or possessing bedding or other equipment for the purpose of sleeping) on streets or in other public places, or in places or structures not designed for human habitation.(3) The following principles are to be applied in the exercise of powers under the 2014 Act-(a) begging or sleeping rough does not in itself amount to action causing alarm or distress (in the absence of other factors);(b) policing and other enforcement action should balance protection of the community with sensitivity to the problems that cause people to engage in begging or sleeping rough; and(c) powers under the 2014 Act should not in general be used in relation to people sleeping rough, and should be used in relation to people begging only where no other approach is reasonably available.(4) A constable or other person exercising functions under the 2014 Act, or considering whether to exercise functions under that Act, in connection with a person who has been, or may have been, involved in begging or sleeping rough, must consider whether the person could be referred to public authorities, or charitable or other persons, for help in addressing the problems that cause them to be involved in begging or sleeping rough.(5) The Secretary of State must issue guidance to local authorities and police forces about the implementation of subsections (3) and (4).(6) Local authorities and police forces must-(a) have regard to the guidance; and(b) take reasonable steps to provide education and training designed to ensure consistent and effective implementation of subsections (3) and (4).(7) Before issuing (or revising) the guidance the Secretary of State must consult-(a) representatives of police forces;(b) representatives of local authorities; and(c) persons representing the interests of homeless persons.(8) The following enactments are repealed (in consequence of subsection (1))-(a) the Vagrancy Act 1898;(b) the Vagrancy Act 1935;(c) sections 20(1)(g) and 24(1)(f) of the Sentencing Act 2020;(d) section 55(2)(b) of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006;(e) paragraph 18 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005;(f) paragraphs 3(3)(b) and 7(3) of Schedule 3C to the Police Reform Act 2002;(g) paragraph 2(3)(aa) of Schedule 5 to that Act;(h) paragraph 4 of Schedule 6 to the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000;(i) section 43(5) of the Mental Health Act 1983;(j) section 70 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982;(k) section 20 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967;(l) in section 48(2) of the Forestry Act 1967, the words “or against the Vagrancy Act 1824”;(m) in section 20(4) of the New Towns Act (Northern Ireland) 1965, the words “or against section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824”;(n) section 2(3)(c) of the House to House Collections Act 1939; and (o) in section 81 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907, the words “shall for the purpose of the Vagrancy Act 1824 and of any Act for the time being in force altering or amending the same, be deemed to be an open and public place, and”.(9) This section extends to England and Wales only.(10) This section comes into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the date of Royal Assent.”Member’s explanatory statementThis new Clause would repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824 and establish that begging or sleeping rough is not itself criminal; it would require police officers to balance protection of the community with sensitivity to the problems that cause people to engage in begging or sleeping rough and ensure that general public order enforcement powers should not in general be used in relation to people sleeping rough, and should be used in relation to people begging only where no other approach is reasonably available.

Ayes 144, Noes 101.

Debate in Parliament |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Content)Minority (Not-Content)Turnout
Bishop4 015.4%
Con3 9737.3%
Crossbench26 014.4%
Green2 0100.0%
Judge1 09.1%
Lab49 128.4%
LDem54 063.5%
Non-affiliated5 212.3%
UUP0 150.0%
Total:144 10130.4%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

Lords for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible lord who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Party | Vote

Lord Holmes of RichmondCon (front bench)aye
Lord Kirkhope of HarrogateCon (front bench)aye
Lord Young of CookhamCon (front bench)aye
Lord Elder Lab (minister)no
Lord Gadhia Non-affiliatedno
Baroness Stowell of BeestonNon-affiliated (front bench)no

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