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Criminal Conduct Bill

Today, Parliament voted on the Second Reading of the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill. It’s a Bill that needs to pass so our police and secret services can do their jobs, but I also have reservations. It needs proper scrutiny in the House, so strong safeguards and oversights are in place to protect human rights, and ‘blank cheque’ authorisations can’t happen.

In short, the Criminal Conduct Bill gives undercover police and agents limited powers to break the law to maintain their cover. It’s needed to infiltrate and disrupt violent gangs, terrorist groups, child exploitation groups and other criminal groups. In short, the Bill allows undercover agents to commit a less serious crime to prevent an extremely serious crime from happening.

Our police and secret services are already having to do this but, right now, there is no legislation to regulate, guide and scrutinise this reality. Right now, undercover agents are being forced into a grey area without guidance, scrutiny or legislative support.

Security is a top concern for me and the Labour party. I know some people are rightly concerned about how this Bill affects our liberties and power we give undercover agents. My position is that the best way to tackle these concerns is to ensure these authorisations are proportional, limited and transparent. It must not be used to impact the ongoing inquiry into physical and sexual relationships with undercover police officers or used to cover-up retrospective law-breaking.

As I demonstrated with my Private Members Bill on Forensic Science Regulation, our criminal justice system has gaps that need addressing. I’m committed to closing those gaps while ensuring that historic injustices involving our law enforcement and security services have happened, justice is achieved.

Thank you,

Darren

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Darren welcomes Gainsborough Pub progress

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has welcomed news that Bristol City Council are progressing plans to purchase, demolish and regenerate the former Gainsborough pub in Lockleaze. The pub has been empty since 2010 and was recently significantly damaged in a fire. The council will make a decision on the recommendation to progress the project on 3rd September 2019.

Darren said:

“It is very welcome news the council are proposing to have the old Gainsborough pub – which is privately owned – redeveloped in Lockleaze. I hope negotiations with the owner, or the compulsory purchase of the site if that’s necessary, can unlock further investment as – particularly after the June fire – the pub really is an eyesore now. Residents have shared their concerns with me, so I am pleased to see the council have heeded those concerns and are doing what they can to get things moving.

The regeneration of Gainsborough Square has been fantastic for the local area, so we now need to see this final piece of the puzzle come together.”

 

 

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Darren signs Child Trafficking pledge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed ECPAT UK’s (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking) pledge calling for Stable Futures for all child victims of trafficking.

Darren said:

Child victims of trafficking are just like other young people, with hopes and dreams for the future. While they may have experienced unimaginable trauma, they are resilient, resourceful and full of potential. Yet under the current system, they are often unable to recover, live stable lives and plan for their future. Some of the barriers they face include securing their immigration status, poor decision making and lengthy waits for immigration claims and other important decisions, and a lack of support to navigate the many complex legal and care systems in the UK.

Following difficult journeys to the UK, unaccompanied children may be victims of trafficking, but this often goes undetected by the authorities as there is no one for them to confide in. Having a long term plan in place, a stable immigration status where necessary and someone to support them early on in their recovery would allow each child to live in safety, free of fear and of further instability in their lives. It would allow them to focus on their education, future careers and friendships, just like any other young person. 

That’s why I stand with ECPAT UK’s call for the government to give trafficked children their futures back“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren gets government response on facial rec. tech.

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, secured a debate in Westminster Hall in May 2019 to discuss the policy and civil liberties implications of recent developments in facial recognition technology.

Since that debate, and Darren’s Science and Technology Committee’s report on Biometrics, Darren has received a response from government.

 

 

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Darren calls for end to illegal tiger trade

Darren Jones MP is proudly supporting a cross-party campaign to bring an end to the trade in tigers and big cats.

Darren said:

“Back in April, I signed a joint letter to Michael Gove calling on him, as Environment Secretary, to try and combat the trade in tigers and other big cats at the May Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Fewer than 4000 tigers survive in the wild worldwide – their numbers remain under threat due to the illegal trade in their body parts, which are primarily used in Chinese Medicine. Brutal, and horrifically cruel, tiger farms still operate in South East Asian Counties and we must call upon these nations in the strongest terms to end this totally unnecessary trade alongside the commercial breeding of tigers. We asked that the UK provide a clear and loud voice for big cats and support the adoption of India’s draft decisions to protect wild big cats.

Sadly, due to the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, the May conference was postponed. However, I will continue to raise this matter and ensure it does not fall off the Government’s radar”.

You can follow Darren’s work on animal welfare here.

 

 

 

 

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Darren works with council to secure Lawrence Weston site

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones recently (16th May 2019) shared a number of constituent concerns about the former Rockwell Care Home on Corbet Close (due to be sold to Curo for housing) in Lawrence Weston. The site had become a target of vandalism, smashed windows and trespass. Following contacting the council, Darren was advised:

People have been systematically breaking into the building and trashing it. We have responded to this and boarded up windows and doors however they are continuing to break in. Local residents are of course concerned.

To combat this, we are getting the building and the adjacent bungalow hoarded and all internal windows boarded up. We are in the process of doing this and are making every effort for this to be done as quickly as possible. We are also in the process of getting an alarm installed.

Darren said:

“I would like to thank the community in Lawrence Weston for contacting me about this issue.  It is good to see the council acting swiftly to make the site safe and secure. I hope these actions are taken quickly so residents feel safe in the area they live.”

 

 

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Darren calls for lifetime elected office ban for those who promote rape

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has joined the Fawcett Society’s calls for those who promote rape and/or gender violence to be  banned from running for office.

Darren said:

“Too many women face horrific abuse online and in public life. Our law currently permits those who issue threats of violence to stand for election. This has to change. We must stand up against hate and ensure those elected to office uphold and represent the highest standards towards women and wider society.

I encourage you to support these calls by signing the Fawcett Society’s petition by clicking here“.

#NotFitToStand

 

 

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Darren welcomes ban on lettings fees

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West,  has welcomed the forthcoming ban on letting fees and the announcement that Bristol City Council will host a national enforcement team.

Darren said:

” I am pleased to hear Bristol City Council has been chosen to host a new nationally-focused team which will provide greater protection for renters across England from letting agents who charge illegal tenant fees. Tenant fees in the private sector are banned in England from 1 June 2019. I fully supported this bill.

The new enforcement team – being led by National Trading Standards – will be responsible for regulating the private rental sector in England, protecting tenants and safeguarding compliant letting agents.

The National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team will act as the lead enforcement authority for the purposes of the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Tenant Fees Act 2019. Letting agency regulation (covering England) will be led by Bristol City Council and estate agency enforcement (across the UK) will continue to be operated from Powys County Council.

This team will place Bristol City Council at the heart of influencing government policy to help enhance consumer protection“.

You can follow Darren’s work on housing here.

 

 

 

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Darren calls for jail time for dog and cat meat consumption

Darren Jones MP is proudly supporting the World Dog Alliance’s campaign to end dog and cat meat processing, transportation and consumption.

Darren has signed an amendment to ban dog and cat meat consumption. The amendment for Agriculture Bill was put down by Giles Watling MP on 28 January. The Bill is currently sponsored by 15 cross-party MPs

Darren Jones MP said:

“The black market trade in dog and cat meat is abhorrent – the meat could be from a stolen pet, a diseased animal and most of these animals are killed and transported in the most horrific conditions.

Anyone knowingly transporting, storing or eating dog or cat meat must face the consequences of this unregulated and cruel trade”.

You can follow Darren’s work on animal welfare here.

 

 

 

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Policy Pods Episode 3: Rising Crime and Falling Police Numbers

In this episode of the podcast – which aims to answer Bristol North West residents’ policy questions – Darren investigates whether falling police numbers are causing a rise in crime.

Thanks to the constituent who suggested this at a recent Cafe Politics.

You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud or on iTunes.

If you have a question you’d like answered on the podcast, please send them to darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk with ‘Policy Pods’ in the subject header, including your postcode in the email so we can verify that you’re a constituent.