Votes: Policing and Crime Bill

On 12th December 2016 four bishops took part in three votes on amendments to the Government’s Policing and Crime Bill at its Report Stage in the House of Lords. Continue reading “Votes: Policing and Crime Bill”

Policing and Crime Bill: Bishop of Bristol sponsors amendment to regulate betting machines

Bristol160226 cOn 7th December 2016, the House of Lords considered the Government’s Policing and Crime Bill in Committee. The Bishop of Bristol co-sponsored an amendment on fixed-odds betting terminals. The amendment was withdrawn after the debate, following assurances from the Minister that the issue would be looked at in the forthcoming review.

The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I will speak to Amendments 173C, 196A and 200A in my name and I support Amendment 173B, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Beecham. I am grateful for the way in which he introduced this group of amendments.

Members of your Lordships’ House will be only too aware that the House has rehearsed the arguments around betting shops, and in particular fixed-odds betting terminals, numerous times in the past year, and there seems to be little need to repeat them here in detail. We know that violent crime is on the increase in betting premises—up 68% in London over the past five years—and it seems very likely that the increasing reliance of betting shops on FOBTs is a key reason for this trend. Continue reading “Policing and Crime Bill: Bishop of Bristol sponsors amendment to regulate betting machines”

Policing and Crime Bill: Bishop of Bristol sponsors amendment on child abduction

On 16th November 2016 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Policing and Crime Bill in Committee. The Bishop of Bristol co-sponsored an amendment to the Bill about the abduction of vulnerable children, which was moved in his absence by Labour’s Lord Kennedy. The amendment was withdrawn after the debate.

Continue reading “Policing and Crime Bill: Bishop of Bristol sponsors amendment on child abduction”

Policing and Crime Bill: Bishops propose tougher regulations on fixed-odds betting terminals

 

Bp Salisbury 2On 9th November 2016, the House of Lords considered the Government’s Policing and Crime Bill at its Committee Stage. An amendment tabled by the Bishop of St Albans was debated that would allow local authorities to regulate the number of fixed-odds betting terminals in their areas. In the absence of the Bishop, Lord Beecham moved the amendment and the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in support:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, for moving the amendment. I stand in place of my colleague the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans, who is unable to be here today, in support of Amendment 214, which would grant new powers to local licensing authorities in regulating gaming machines on gambling premises. As the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, has already made clear, there is a strong case for measures that will help local authorities tackle gambling-related crime to be included in the Policing and Crime Bill. Continue reading “Policing and Crime Bill: Bishops propose tougher regulations on fixed-odds betting terminals”

Policing and Crime Bill: Bishop of Southwark responds

On 18th July the House of Lords considered the Government’s Policing and Crime Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in the debate, focusing on proposals for police reform, gambling, mental health and young people.

SouthwarkThe Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I congratulate Ministers and their officials on bringing forward such a large Bill in so orderly a fashion. This is a Bill of nine parts; even Gaul was only divided into three. I hope your Lordships will forgive me if I make a number of points from so varied a terrain.

While the Bill addresses licensed premises for the sale of alcohol, we have no mention in it of other licensed premises, which are also vulnerable to criminal activity. We know from freedom of information requests reported in the press that from 2013 to 2014 there was a 20% rise in the number of police call-outs to betting shops. The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans, who wished to attend this debate, himself submitted a freedom of information request recently to the Gambling Commission, which reveals a 68% rise in reports of violence against the person at London betting shops over the last five years. Continue reading “Policing and Crime Bill: Bishop of Southwark responds”