26 May 2007

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

Tomorrow's Sunday Times will reveal that the Government is considering "stop and question" powers for the police.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought about a year and a half ago the government-appointed independent reviewer of terrorism legislation indicated that "stop and search" powers were being used too widely by the police and could be halved without any reduction in public safety.

Civil liberty groups will doubtless be particularly concerned, especially with this move coming so soon after the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights criticised Britain for expanding its panoply of anti-terrorist laws and extending police and investigatory powers.

Is this power/legislation-obsessed government heading in the wrong direction, or am I missing something?

3 comments:

nauticaloz said...

Seem to remember in the 60/70's there was something similar called the SUS Law! Police were empowered to stop and search anyone on SUSpicion of involvement with a crime - it lead to massive civil unrest and possibly was a main contributor to urban riots. No one learns from history anymore!

The Stonemason said...

Civil disobedience, non-cooperation with the police, refusal to give identity, refusal to give DNA swabs... If our government continues to pass sweeping police powers it may soon be time to remind Parliament that in the UK sovereignty resides with the people, that we only delegate it to Parliament to act on our behalf.

MikeC said...

Stonemason: think you've summarised it well. Thank you for reminding me of the true nature of representation, and the very temporary nature of the job of MP.

I wish all MPs would see there job as a temp job, on loan from about 70,000 other people for whom they hold it in trust.