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By LGCnet political correspondent Robert Hedley ...
By LGCnet political correspondent Robert Hedley

A radical Bill which would introduce elected lawyers across the country to prosecute anti-social behaviour offences was presented by former Labour minister Frank Field.

His Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill would establish such a post in each parliamentary constituency and make arrangements for their direct election. It would also establish their relationship with the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Bill was given a formal first reading and is timetabled for second reading on 20 June. It is unlikely to make progress.

However, Mr Field, MP for Birkenhead - who was famously told by Tony Blair to 'think the unthinkable' when he was appointed as social security minister - has a habit of having his ideas adopted at a later date. He surprised colleagues - and angered not a few - last year when he presented a Bill that would have withdrawn housing and other benefits from people found guilty of anti-social behaviour. That idea will be incorporated in the government's forthcoming draft Housing Bill.

Hansard 8 Apr 2003: Column 132

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