25 May 2006

S2M-4268 Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill

Scottish Parliament

Thursday 25 May 2006

[THE DEPUTY PRESIDING OFFICER opened the meeting at 09:15]

... ... ...

Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Trish Godman): The next item of business is a debate on motion S2M-4268, in the name of Cathy Jamieson, that the Parliament agrees that the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill be passed.


... ... ...


Stewart Stevenson (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): I wish to dwell only on amendments 204 and 205. The provisions in amendment 204 will apply where

"the Principal Reporter is satisfied—

(i) that the ground specified ... is established; and

(ii) that an offence committed by the child causing that ground to be satisfied is a relevant sexual offence".

It is rather rich of the Executive to persuade the Parliament that antisocial behaviour orders are relevant to children—no guilt, civil process, civil standard of proof—

Jeremy Purvis: Will the member give way?

Stewart Stevenson: No.

ASBOs are relevant to children, but a child can be a sexual predator just as an adult can. A child who is a sexual predator needs to be protected and needs to be looked after within the children's panel system. That is self-evident, but there are victims of children as well. We have heard talk of victims; Marilyn Livingstone referred to the victims of sexual abuse. Someone can be abused by a child. Keeping the DNA of an innocent child who has admitted a sexual offence is hardly a greater problem of principle than Jeremy Purvis voting for keeping the DNA of absolutely innocent people who have appeared in court and immediately been identified as not being the right Paul Martin, Stewart Stevenson, Bill Aitken or whoever. In the realpolitik of Scotland, the first time a juvenile sexual offender reoffends undetected because the police did not have access to the DNA of that child from the previous offence, the political price for Jeremy Purvis and his colleagues will be significant and terminal.


Stewart Stevenson
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