Bishop of Southwark questions Government policy of deporting foreign national offenders with longstanding roots in UK

On 10th February 2020 Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford, repeated a Government statement made in the House of Commons on planned deportation flights to Jamaica. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

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Bishop of Southwark responds to Queen’s Speech – serious youth violence

On 9th January 2020 the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, spoke during the fourth day of debate in the House on the Queen’s Speech, about serious youth violence:

Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I wish to raise the issue of local services that are likely to have a positive impact on serious youth violence, in particular knife crime. I appreciate that the criminal justice system was key to yesterday’s debate on the gracious Speech, and indeed the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Rochester touched briefly on knife crime in that context. However, I wish to concentrate not on policing per se, nor on the actions of the courts, prison or probation services, but on those of other local agencies. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark responds to Queen’s Speech – serious youth violence”

Bishop of Rochester speaks on criminal justice, youth violence, child exploitation and probation reform in Queen’s Speech debate

17.10 RochesterOn 8th January 2020 the Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke during the third day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on the topic of criminal justice:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this debate on the gracious Speech and look forward to hearing two maiden speeches from the noble Lords, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay and Lord Davies of Gower. I am sure we will listen with interest to their contributions and that their different experiences will come to be of value in your Lordships’ House.

My contribution focuses on criminal justice matters, not only because of my role as bishop to Her Majesty’s prisons but because these issues affect every community, including those in my diocese.

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Vote: Rehabilitation of Offenders Motion

On 20 May 2019 the House of Lords voted on an Opposition regret motion to the Government’s Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2019. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, took part in the vote:

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Bishop of Leeds asks Government about action against modern slavery at hand car washes

On 9th May 2019 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received a written answer to three questions about forced labour exploitation in the hand car wash sector:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds:
1. HL15278 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the prevalence of forced labour exploitation in the hand car wash sector in England and Wales.
2. HL15279 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to address forced labour exploitation in the hand car wash sector.
3. HL15280 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the report by the University of Nottingham Rights Lab Safe Car Wash App Report, published on 7 April.

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Offensive Weapons Bill – Bishop of Newcastle asks Government to think again on Knife Crime Prevention Orders

On 6th February 2019 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Offensive Weapons Bill in its third day of Committee. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Chrisine Hardman spoke against Government amendments to create new Knife Crime Prevention Orders. The amendments were withdrawn following the debate, but the Minister indicated they were likely to be returned to again at a later stage:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: Before becoming Bishop of Newcastle, I was an archdeacon in south-east London. In my archdeaconry, sadly, was Eltham, where Stephen Lawrence died. I do not, therefore, underestimate the sheer heartbreak and devastation of knife crime, particularly when young people are involved. This crime is growing and growing. I have sat with families whose children have been victims of knife crime. I have officiated at a funeral where that has been the case. The circles of devastation and heartbreak just go on and on. I do not underestimate the seriousness of this problem; nevertheless, I object to this amendment and hope that it will be withdrawn, so that there is more time to reflect on it. Continue reading “Offensive Weapons Bill – Bishop of Newcastle asks Government to think again on Knife Crime Prevention Orders”

Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about progress on female offenders strategy

On 31st January 2019 the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a question she had tabled to Government on its female offender strategy:

Female Offender Strategy

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in implementing the female offenders’ strategy.

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Keen of Elie) (Con): My Lords, the Female Offender Strategy, published in June 2018, outlines the Government’s long-term vision for improving outcomes for female offenders in custody and in the community. The strategy sets out a programme of work that contains a number of commitments that will take some years to implement. A new women’s policy framework was published last December, and my noble friend Lord Farmer’s review of family ties for female offenders is expected to report in the coming weeks.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, I welcome that information from the Minister, which follows many positive commitments to the female offender strategy. However, we are still awaiting news of residential pilots, action to strengthen links between probation services and women’s centres, the report from the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, and a national concordat. Given that many of the strategy’s commitments have no clear timescales—indeed, in some cases the suggested deadline has already passed—how does the Minister plan to effectively monitor progress and stay on track?

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