Mike Wood: How many prisons have triggered urgent notifications since the system was introduced at the end of last year? How does that number break down between privately managed prisons and those run by the public sector?
Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice
Mike Wood: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the key human right in this case is access to a full and fair trial, and that the UK Government must do everything they can to make sure that is possible? If UK agencies and authorities were to withhold evidence they have in their possession, it would put that fundamentally at risk?
Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
Prison serves many functions and purposes: to punish, to reform, but also to protect wider society. That protection relies on being able to restrict and prevent criminal activities in order to break up the existing networks and ensure that the crimes and offences for which prisoners are in jail cannot continue while they remain there.
Mike Wood: Is my hon. Friend as concerned as I am that The Times journalist who uncovered the Rotherham child abuse scandal said that it would have been inconceivable—that is the word he used—for the newspaper to have run that story on its front page had section 40 been in place? How would that have damaged the investigation?
Mike Wood: I intend to speak only briefly, as this is a strong Bill that will empower people to take control of their data. I am pleased to see such broad support for it receiving its Second Reading, but I am not able to support the provisions in the Bill that would implement section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.
Although the vast majority of privately owned car parks treat their customers with respect, there are still far too many rogue operators. As Members are aware, a common scenario takes place whereby people park their car, pay for a ticket and leave without giving it a second through, but receive a parking ticket in the post some days later demanding an up-front payment within a specified timescale. If they do not pay right away, the fine may double—it is pay now or pay more.
It is a pleasure and privilege to take part in this debate on what could hardly be a more important subject, one literally of life and death, as has been said. I join hon. Members in congratulating my hon. Friend