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Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. MSPs back the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill

    Tag

    MSPs have backed the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill which extends the use of electronic tagging.

    A new 'unlawfully at large' offence has also been created for those who breach the terms of their release, following the murder of Craig McClelland by an offender who had cut off his electronic tag.

    An amendment calling for mandatory FAIs when a murder is committed by someone in breach of a curfew order was rejected.

    It is hoped that increasing the use of electronic monitoring technology, including GPS, will reduce reoffending by allowing people to reintegrate into communities.

    But calls were made throughout the debate to ensure wider support was available alongside the new measures, including access to housing and healthcare.

    The bill was passed by 82 votes to 26. The Scottish Tories voted against it, warning it would put the public at risk.

  2. Background: Aircraft noise 'link' to stroke and heart disease deaths

    Plane taking off

    The risk of stroke, heart and circulatory disease is higher in areas with a lot of aircraft noise, researchers back in 2013 conclude.

    Findings published in the British Medical Journal found residents near Heathrow Airport have a 10-20% higher risk of such conditions.

    But the study also said noise was not necessarily to blame and more work was needed.

  3. Background: WHO calls for reduction in aircraft noise exposure

    Airplane

    Policy makers must take action to reduce noise exposure from aircraft, the World Health Organization has said.

    In a new set of guidelines on environmental noise, the WHO said exposure was an increasingly important public health issue.

    It recommended aircraft noise should be below 45dB during the day, with a reduction to 40db at night.

    The WHO also recommended making "suitable changes to infrastructure" for specific interventions.

    Read the guidelines here.

  4. Debate: Health issues raised by aircraft noise

    SNP MSP Gil Paterson is leading a debate on health issues causes by aircraft noise.

    His motion highlights new guidelines from the WHO and calls for consideration to be given about action to improve the lives of people living under flight paths.

    Motion
    Image caption: Here is his motion
  5. BreakingMSPs pass the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill

    Electronic tag

    MSPs pass the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill, with 82 MSPs backing it and with 26 voting against it.

  6. Minister accuses Tories of dog-whistle politics in opposing this bill

    Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf says the Tory opposition to the measures in this bill is just playing to its gallery.

    Mr Yousaf points out it won't be successful because the majority of Scots feel safe and warns Liam Kerr he is losing credibility.

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr intervenes to asks if a risk assessment tool and an offence for cutting off a tag is dog-whistle politics.

    The minister again says the Tories are just playing to the gallery and says he is not surprised by their dog-whistle politics.

    Mr Yousaf goes on to call on MSPs to back the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill.

  7. Tories to vote against Management of Offenders Bill

    Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell says this bill is an opportunity lost, pointing out remand prisoners will not benefit from the extension of electronic monitoring.

    Ms Mitchell says the provisions in the bill will make it possible to replace short term prison sentences, probably including those guilty of domestic abuse.

    She too reiterates calls for an inquiry into Craig McClelland's death and regrets the fact the Scottish government has not launched a full independent public inquiry.

    The Tory MSP concludes saying her party will be voting against the Management of Offenders Bill at decision time.

  8. Labour backing bill but regret rejection of mandatory FAIs amendments

    Labour MSP Daniel Johnson thinks this bill will provide for more effective curfew orders and welcomes the instigation of a new offence in terms of breach.

    However he joins other MSPs in regretting the rejection of amendments calling for mandatory FAIs when a murder is committed by someone under a curfew order.

  9. Background: Scotland's reconviction rates remain at 20-year low

    Arrest

    Almost a third of offenders sentenced to payback orders which include unpaid community work were reconvicted within a year.

    New figures also show that about six in 10 people sentenced to prison terms of three months or less were reconvicted.

    Overall, the reconviction rate in 2016/17 was unchanged at 27.2%.

    Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the National Statistics report showed Scotland's reconviction rate remained at its lowest level in 20 years.

    Read more.

  10. Delays in FAI system 'unacceptable'

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur describes Mr Kerr's remarks as "dog-whistle scaremongering", arguing short prison sentences actually make communities less safe due to disruption caused.

    He agrees with the view the electronic monitoring becomes a purely punitive measure if people are not provided wider support to improve chances of rehabilitation and reintegration.

    Regarding FAIs, he says the delays in the system are unacceptable.

    Employment after a conviction is often a key part of rehabilitation he says, welcoming changes to disclosure.

  11. Background: Former chief inspector asks 'what next for Scotland's jails?'

    David Strang
    Image caption: David Strang stood down in May 2017 after five years as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland

    The former prisons' inspector called for greater emphasis on developing offenders' potential for good rather than focusing on their past wrongs before stepping down last year.

    In a valedictory address David Strang said the purpose of the criminal justice system is to reduce the number of victims of crime by preventing offending.

    And he asked if imprisonment contributes to crime reduction.

    Scotland has one of the highest rates of imprisonment in Europe and Mr Strang, a former chief constable of Lothian and Borders, said during his inspections he had seen too many people jailed for short terms whose incarceration was more likely to result in further victims of crime.

    Read more here.

  12. This is good legislation insists Green MSP

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Fiinnie

    This is good legislation and it's all the better for having been scrutinised in detail, begins John Finnie.

    The Green MPS insists it is progressive legislation and we should not apologise for it.

    "Scotland has a shameful number of people in prisons and we need to empty these prisons," he adds.

    He says electronic tagging will be part of helping to achieve that.

    The Green MSP highlights the role tagging can play in remand and for pre-release.

  13. Aftercare must be provided alongside electronic monitoring

    Labour MSP Mary Fee says to be truly successful in keeping people out of prison, we must fully resource service to support them and their families.

    Our current justice system frequently sets people up to fail, she argues.

    Labour MSP Mary Fee
    Image caption: Labour MSP Mary Fee

    Electronic monitoring can support rehabilitation and reintegration but people released on tags must know the conditions placed on them, Ms Fee states.

    She expressed disappointment that the amendment calling for an FAI into a murder committed by a person on release was defeated.

    Turning to the parts of the bill on disclosure, she says stigma must not limit opportunities to work for those with spent convictions.

    Care and aftercare must be provided for people with conviction in addition to electronic monitoring she concludes.

  14. Tories will not back this bill

    Mr Kerr says he tried to mandate a risk assessment tool right throughout this process, but it was voted down.

    The Tory MSP argues the unlawfully at large offence is simply not good enough and he adds he cannot understand why the SNP voted against creating an offence when a person takes their electronic tag off.

    Mr Kerr argues the ethos of this bill is something other than public protection.

    He says it is about keeping people out of expensive prisons and this has been prioritised over keeping people safe and looking after victims.

    My fears for the consequences mean the Scottish Conservatives cannot vote for this bill, the MSP concludes.

  15. Background: What is Michelle's Law?

    Michelle Stewart

    The Conservatives have backed the Michelle's Law campaign which is named after teenager Michelle Stewart, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009.

    The following year, John Wilson was given a sentence of at least 12 years for stabbing Michelle to death near her home in Drongan, Ayrshire.

    But her family have been told by the SPS that Wilson has been approved for first grant of temporary release after just nine years.

    Her family have been campaigning for victims and their families to be given a bigger say in how decisions such as this are made, and for there to be an explicit requirement that their views to be taken into account when parole and early release are considered.

  16. Bill will put public at risk warns Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr
    Image caption: Tory MSP Liam Kerr

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr expresses concern that this bill will put the public at risk and will not deliver justice for victims.

    We've rolled three issues into one he says, so some parts have not had as much scrutiny as others.

    Mr Kerr says we have missed an opportunity to review the parole board more widely, including whether Michelle's Law should be rolled out.

    The Tory MSP suggests the legislation will lead to an increase in criminals on tags in the community and expresses concern about risk assessment tools for this purpose.

    He warns the bill will extend the scope of electronic technology improvements to ever more dangerous criminals.

  17. Minister says bill improves the criminal justice system in Scotland

    Mr Yousaf says the bill makes some minor adjustments in terms of the functions of the Parole Board.

    The justice secretary explains the consultation on parole is being considered.

    He argues this bill improves the criminal justice system in Scotland, making it both progressive and effective, while keeping people safe.

    The minister calls for MSPs to back the bill.