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Finance Committee

9th Report 2001

Report on Protection from Abuse (Scotland) Bill
 

   
      

SP Paper 363

Session 1 (2001)

 

1. The Protection from Abuse (Scotland) Bill, the first Committee Bill, was introduced on 4 June 2001 by Alasdair Morgan MSP on behalf of the Justice 1 Committee. It was referred to the Finance Committee to consider and report on the Bill's Financial Memorandum under standing orders rule 9.15.8.

2. The Presiding Officer, in his letter of 5 June 2001 advised Mr Morgan that a Financial Resolution is required for this Bill under standing orders rule 9.12.

3. The Finance Committee first considered the Memorandum at its meeting on 8 June and welcomed the level of detail provided which was a considerable improvement on some of the Financial Memorandums considered previously by the Committee.

4. Notwithstanding the information provided, the Committee decided to take evidence from Alasdair Morgan MSP, Convener of Justice 1 Committee in order to seek further clarification on the anticipated cost implications, relating to two specific areas. Firstly the additional police costs which could arise from a greater call on police time. In this regard, David Davidson was concerned that the figures provided for police costs were not firm enough and that no account had been taken of the potential cost of additional police time in court. Secondly the Committee wished further detail on the basis for estimating potential detention costs.

5. At the meeting on 12 June, in response to questions raised by David Davidson MSP, Alasdair Morgan advised that police time would be required to deal with any incidents as a result of which an arrest would require to be made. However he advised that it should not be assumed that such police time would represent an increase. As matters presently stand, without the sanction of arrest, police are still required to attend but do not have open to them the option of arrest. Arguably the option of such a quick solution could result in a reduction of police time. Furthermore with the sanction of arrest, there would be no added necessity for the police to give evidence to the court.

6. The Committee was also reassured on the issue of potential detention costs after receiving clarification from Alasdair Morgan that the indicative cost given, of up to 134,000, represented the hypothetical situation whereby every individual brought to court was detained for the maximum 2 days. This figure is therefore projected to be the upper limit in terms of detention costs.

7. The Committee was content with the explanations provided by Alasdair Morgan and recommends that the Parliament agrees to the expenditure or the increase in expenditure being payable out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund.


 

   
 
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