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Home Office: Police can carry on breaking law

Discussion in 'Serious' started by cjmUK, 19 Jan 2010.

  1. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    Source: El Reg

    Stopping people under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act is illegal under European law, but the government has insisted that Police Officers will continue to operate this way, until and appeal has been heard. The logic is that the Nuremberg Defence can be applied: individual officers can continue stop people because they are being instructed under national legislation to do so - they are only following orders.

    The correct course of action would to suspend a practice which as been deemed illegal until the appeal has been heard, but such rules only apply to us and not the boys in blue.

    However, apparently the reality is that the Nuremberg Defence doesn't apply in this case because they are not being instructed in law to operate this way. National Law states that they can do this, but not that they must do this.

     
  2. Edge102030

    Edge102030 Son, i am disappoint.

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    We need to leave the E.U.
     
  3. smc8788

    smc8788 ...at least I have chicken

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    Why?

    Surely this is something which has little to no effect on law abiding citizens?
     
  4. Techno-Dann

    Techno-Dann Disgruntled kumquat

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    Not to Godwinize the thread, or anything, but the Gestapo had little to no effect on law abiding (German) citizens...
     
  5. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    I thought we'd got over the 'if you have nothing to hide' argument here on BT?

    What makes you think that *you* can't be stopped under s44?

    The overwhelming majority of people stopped under s44 are law-abiding citizens - it has absolutely nothing to do with stopping terrorists. I would estimate that the number of people found to be breaking the law after a s44 stop < 1%. Of those, only a tiny minority are ever charged with any offense related to Terrorism.

    If you are stopped under s44, there is a much greater likelihood that you are a photographer taking a photographs of a wedding or a famous landmark, or perhaps you are are taking part in a peaceful, legal protest. More importantly, you could stopped and threatened with arrest if photograph police officers, even if you are just trying to record their actions as evidence.

    S44 only applies in certain pre-defined zones - unfortunately, you aren't entitled to know where these zones are (though we can probably guess some of them). However, outside these zones, you can be stopped under S43, but that comes with the inconvenient caveat that there must be reasonable suspicion that you are engaged in an act (of preparation) of terrorism. Not half as useful as S44...

    I'm sceptical about much of the EU's worth, but this is one case where they may be saving the day.
     
  6. smc8788

    smc8788 ...at least I have chicken

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    Sorry, I wasn't aware there had been an argument about it before, so you'll have to bear with me.

    Nothing, but I probably wouldn't care if I was. The other side of the coin is police officers not having the power to do anything to stop people if they are acting suspiciously.

    You point out some worst case scenarios of how this law can be abused, but those seem to be examples of officers taking things too far, or not doing their job properly and exercising common sense, but that's another matter entirely.
     
  7. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    Pretty whack in my opinion.

    I would not like to be stopped by some coppers just because they can - I've had enough experiences where saying the wrong thing can get you into a hell of a lot more trouble; I imagine being faced with a copper on a power trip pulling some S44 action is an easy path to a cell for the night if one isn't careful.

    Over the years I was sort of against the EU - things like this are making me very much come round now. Speculation was always rife that the EU would create situations like this in our country, but now it seems the EU and their human rights might be the only thing in the way of stupid exploitations like this.
     
  8. whisperwolf

    whisperwolf New Member

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    Ah but that's the problem these worst case scenarios are happening more and more, and they can get quite extreme.
    The law was brought in to cover a quite specific threat, but the wording watered down such that the police could use this much like they used poaching laws in the past. To enable them to stop anyone they don't like the the look off and search them without any probable cause. the Poaching laws were repealed as it was found Police where using this law to discriminate against working classes. Its much the same with the current law except now its used primarily against minorities, and I believe most of the actual convictions following the searches are actually for drug offences and have nothing to do with terrorism.
    This is mission creep of the law and needs to stop. If a power can be abused it will, be as humanity is pretty crappy when given the opportunity to cause grief with immunity.
    Its taken media campaigns by photo journalists and magazines such as amateur photographer to finally get the police to realise that the public are turning against them when they continue to bother tourists and journalists who are legally taking pictures.
     
  9. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    They already have powers to stop people who are behaving suspiciously - had them for years.

    You really need to read up on the Terrorist Act. There are two issues, the first is that the law itself is badly crafted, the second is that this badly crafted law is being further abused by wrong interpretation.

    I personally disagree with many sections of this law because they are the first baby steps on the way to a police state. It grants over-reaching powers to the police that tip the balance somewhat.

    However, the problem is that the way the police are actually using the law is not the way it was intended - just as was the case with RIPA (spying over school catchment areas). Many police forces are under the impression that it is illegal to photograph a policemen... even though ACPO have (begrudgingly) issued the correct guidance.

    I don't have a problem with you having a contrary opinion, but it's clear that you are unaware of this whole debate.

    Again, if you did a cursory bit of homework, you would discover how bad this problem is. It is a bad law, it is badly misunderstood still by too many Police Officers, and although it has been deemed illegal, the government and ACPO are recommending 'business as usual' - which was the original point of this thread.

    IMHO the EU has a lot to answer for, but in this particular case, they are pulling in the right direction. While we might be concerned about the 'liberal' or 'socialist' agenda of Europe, we can't help but worry about New Labour's totalitarian leanings. Terrorist Act, ID Cards, ANPR etc
     
  10. Executioner

    Executioner What's a Dremel? A quick razor

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    Ok I got no clue what you guys are discussing, obviously due to my location.

    From what I'm reading, this seems like something Bush tried over here but alot of people are seeing through the crap for what it is (unfortunatley alot ain't)

    Instead of allowing our collective governments to turn our respective countries into police states, WE NEED as people to tell our governments to stop putting out fires and find some way to get these "terrorist" leaders to open a dialog to honestly and openly discuss HOW

    We can come to terms in some way. Understood the U.S. is viewed as "The great satan"

    I do realize that my government pushes "democracy" WAY too much. It's not what everyone want's!

    In a perfect world we could all live and let be..

    It ain't by no means perfect! niether is no" ONE" person's view of belief!
    BUT!

    IF and only IF!! we as individuals, meaning EVERYONE! government workers,military,politicians,dock workers,factory workers...just EVERYONE can come to

    ONE SIMPLE understanding!


    WE all MUST deal with each others opinions/belief's and they WILL by our very nature differ.


    We will at the simplest, differ on pronouncing tomato or potato. at the very complex, we will say "God" or "Allah" or many other versions of pronouncing the name of our god.

    THAT IS the ONE single source of our dissagreement as a people,meaning the human race!

    Me? I would categorize myself as...I'm not sure:confused: I find it possible that an all powerfull being did create life on this planet BUT I find it IMPOSSIBLE that WE are the only intelligent life forms in existence.

    Hence a Cro magnon man would look upon me lighting my Zippo as a "god's" ability so would we look upon a far superior race that understands DNA and all the "life stuff" as "A GOD"



    Does that make any sense?
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2010
  11. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    Yes, it makes sense...but a bit off-topic. You see these issues around the Terrorist Act are nothing to do with Terrorism at all. Powers were given to police supposedly to fight terrorism, but are illegally misused to a) protect the police from scrutiny and b) to stop law-abiding members of the public to control them and in the hope of getting lucky.

    What he said... ^
     
  12. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Yes, obviously that would help with the United Kingdom police forces abusing United Kingdom laws in the United Kingdom. Leave the EU, the only organisation which is actually going to tell the police they're being a bunch of power-hungry little-hitlers who aren't a third as intelligent as they need to be to have these powers (in slightly nicer words).
     

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