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From Airstrip One to MegaCity One - Grin with cat attached
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From Airstrip One to MegaCity One Aug. 15th, 2006 09:13 am
http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/article/0,,1844813,00.html

Can't even find the anger to comment.

From: redcountess
Date: August 15th, 2006 - 08:20 am (Link)
Actually, once you get past the sensationalist headline and opening paragraph, I find the proposals themselves quite reasonable, as they seem to be based on isolating known and repeat offenders, and would probably do more good than ASBOs.
From: dennyd
Date: August 15th, 2006 - 08:45 am (Link)
From: redcountess
Date: August 15th, 2006 - 09:05 am (Link)
I still maintain that this is not as much a police state manouvre as other Labour law and order proposals like the ID card, as long as there are checks and balances ie. the EU Human Rights laws are not eroded. The issue of repeat offenders is a thorny one —prison is no longer a deterrent, and expensive for the government.
From: wechsler
Date: August 15th, 2006 - 08:56 am (Link)
Such powers are for the courts, not the police.
From: redcountess
Date: August 15th, 2006 - 09:10 am (Link)
But how do police then handle these repeat offenders? A stern "move along" no longer works, especially on council estates. It's one thing to tell people "don't be afraid", but what about the elderly and isolated who often feel threatened?
From: topbit
Date: August 15th, 2006 - 09:29 am (Link)
I'm with redcountess on this - though I'm not so sure about stop and search based on past convictions - strong suspicions _now_, is more reasonable - and that's pretty much already the case I think.

You are right that these need to be backed up by a court, and so if someone has a problem they should be able to immediately (within 72 hrs at max) to appeal to a magistrate to overturn it. Things like crushing cars should have to be signed off by a court.

BTW - what's the 'Airstrip One' reference?
From: topbit
Date: August 15th, 2006 - 09:47 am (Link)
From: meico
Date: August 15th, 2006 - 01:31 pm (Link)
I find the proposals themselves quite reasonable, as they seem to be based on isolating known and repeat offenders, and would probably do more good than ASBOs.

I don't. Regardless of the good intentions I find the proposals quite unreasonable. These powers are reserved for the courts for good reason. "Sus" laws lead to police abuse and corruption; there are many historical examples of this.

The real trouble here is that the police and courts seem unwilling or unable to use the powers they already have for such offenses. I am not a judge or police officer and I am sure they have their reasons for this, but I suspect the problem should be dealt with there and not by giving police more powers.

The idea of dealing with repeat offenders more harshly than first time offenders is something that is already integral to the legal system. These addition powers are both unnecessary, draconian, and open for abuse.

Powers for police officers to tackle "town centre yobs" and powers to tackle disorder by gangs who cause repeat disorder.

There are already laws against fighting, property damage, and being drunk and disorderly, etc. that can be used for immediate arrest. Repeat offense is normally taken into account during sentencing. A condition of parole can be and often is exclusion from certain areas at certain times and exclusion from association with certain persons. Breach of parole conditions is grounds for immediate re-arrest. No new laws or powers are needed.

Powers to tackle "the yob driver": those repeatedly stopped in an unregistered car with no insurance, no driving licence or MOT.

See the above. There are already laws against these specific offenses that include immediate arrest.

Tackling knife crime by enabling "reasonable suspicion" for stop and search to be based on previous convictions.

If "reasonable suspicion" for search becomes previous offenses then nearly everyone at all times will become targets for random searches. Ever got a parking ticket? Well, that proves you are not a law abiding citizen so I can search you just in case you are breaking some other law right now... Oh, you say you have never broken any laws? Please come with me into custody while I do a full background check to confirm that... Of course since you are within striking distance of me I have to do a search of you just to make sure that I am safe; you could be a knife wielding maniac after all.

The situation presented above is NOT theoretical. Please look up "Terry Stops" in US law.