"It pointed out that powers to stop people under anti-terrorist legislation, which the public had been reassured would be applied correctly and sparingly, were wrongly used against an elderly heckler at the Labour Party conference in the autumn."
"The introduction of a single, rationalised power of arrest simplifies arrest powers and requires the police officer to consider the necessity of the arrest."
Himmilar would have creamed himself for such powers.
"We need to maintain the crucial balance between the powers of the police and an individual's rights."
How many times have we heard that line in the last year? While I normaly think of Liberty as a bunch of hippie soap dodgers, for once I'm prepared to think they're right. Although the bit about a photo database seems a bit tin-foil hatish.
Sir Ian Blair thinks that just because you have trained in Terrorist Camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan it doesn't necessarily mean you will be arrested or that you are a threat, contrast that with some of the recent police visits to Christian households and the pattern begins to emerge. These laws will be used to criminalise Die Neue Arbeit political opposition. The police are being used to enforce a political philosophy rather than to uphold the law without favour. I have a seriously bad feeling about this.
Actually you are all wrong. What appears to be happening is a massive cut in police powers. Not only will the fact you have been caught comiting or having comitted what was an arrestable offence be enough to arrest you, also we will have to justify why it was neccessary to arrest you and not run around getting a summons. Its a slags charter that will make it much harder to get cases to court. My gut feeling is that it has been done to make us issue fixed penalty notices for nearly all minor crime (such as public order and shoplifting) and effectivly decriminalise it.
"Officer I accept my child has just slapped you in the street, but you know who he is and where he lives, he has no intention of making any comment if interviewed and so you canot justify arresting him to interview him , oh yes and as assualting a police officer is non indictable you have no power of entry to his house to arrest him either, now clear off before we complain"
Whole swaiths of anti-anti-social behaviour legislation such as ASBO's and youth dispersal orders have just become unenforcable as it will be very difficult in most cases to justify an arrest rather than summons. If we don't arrest at the time the anti-social behaviour will continue ("yeah I know I ain't allowed to drink here, you no my name and address now fcuk off") The minicab touts who ply the west end in uninsured death traps and commit several rapes a week will also be unarrestable as they often carry ID and the offence in, in the main, only prosecutable if witnessed by police and so they cannot be interviewed.
The old S25 PACE which gave limited arrest powers for non arrestabale offences (in cases where a summons was not going to be appropriate) was a lawyers bonanza, it has now been spread to the entire criminal law, cases that would have been in court in a few days will take many weeks as it can take that long to get a summons served.
Absurditys exist such as in the case of the offence of threatening behaviour, It is possible for some one to commit this offence from his dwelling against a person in the street. If that happened today I would enter and arrest that person, thanks to the changes in the powers of entry that this act has brought I can now no longer do so meaning the suspect can carry on with impunity whilst I try and "tease" him out. There is now no power of entry to effect arrests or search for evidence of TDA or common assualt, no power to search premises for and arrest people who ticket tout at football matches (A highly organised muti million pound business that is a direct cause of football violence) etc etc all of which we can do today.
Time and time again this government has shafted the police with unworkable legislation, cr@py health and safety rules and "Human Rights" stipulations, this is just another example.
This piece of legislation is badly thought out and could well be a disaster, we will have to be very careful in how we try and make it work and I am sure that the criminal classes and there lawyers will make the most of it to find even more technical defences. And it is being introduced on the 31 dec-1 jan, the busiest night of the year, when we are at our most streched, how well thought out is that?
I did 18 years and resigned last month, thank fcuk. Legislation used to stipulate exactly who could be arrested and under what circumstances, and even then it was a fcuking nightmare. This will prove unworkable and the only winners are Lawyers, yet again, (Who do you think drafts this cr@p??). I would imagine that any arrest deemed unlawful would be deemed as being in breach of the Human Right Act, Hmmmnn, Matrix, Cherie Blair, PM's wife, nepotism, cronyism, New Labour..................