The Home Office has finally administered the coup de grace on common sense and civil liberties

The Times reports…

Draconian police powers designed to deprive crime barons of luxury lifestyles are being extended to councils, quangos and agencies to use against the public, The Times has learnt.

The right to search homes, seize cash, freeze bank accounts and confiscate property will be given to town hall officials and civilian investigators employed by organisations as diverse as Royal Mail, the Rural Payments Agency and Transport for London.

The measure, being pushed through by Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, comes into force next week and will deploy some of the most powerful tools available to detectives against fare dodgers, families in arrears with council tax and other minor offenders.

The radical extension of the Proceeds of Crime Act, through a Statutory Instrument which is not debated by parliament, has been condemned by the chairman of the Police Federation. Paul McKeever said that he was shocked to learn that the decision to hand over “intrusive powers” to people who were not police was made without consultation or debate.

This is a very worrying development and reveals that mission creep has finally crept up to the limit of common sense.  I agree with the Police Federation spokesman.  The government wants to ‘embed’ seizure powers across the board in the Criminal Justice System and raise £250 million.

Putting draconinian powers in the hands of council officials is not a clever move and will, inevitably, result in poorly trained council officials making poor decisions.

I’ve lost patience with Labour over their continued and almost relentless attack on common sense when it comes to civil liberties.  Their much vaunted talk of human rights seems futile when they give with one hand yet take with the other.  This decision will be a disaster like many other decisions of a Home Office which has not, to coin a phrase, been ‘fit for purpose’ for some time. And to think, after the crazies we have had running the Home Office in recent years, I thought that Alan Johnson might actually be vaguely sensible.  This is not sensible…and while I am permitted in New Orwellian Labour Britain.. I shall say so.

I have stopped voting labour…. this means I shall not be voting for the first time in nearly 30 years. Not that this will have any effect whatsoever on the voting figures for Labour bar one less vote.

POLICE STATE BRITAIN ? … NAH… MORE OF A TRAFFIC WARDEN STATE BRITAIN  – and this will be even worse…. have you ever tried to speak to a council official?

If you want to pay your council tax PRESS 1…if you want to pay your parking fine PRESS 2… if you want to pay your fine for putting your bin out too early PRESS 3… if you want to enjoy your life in Britain… sorry… we don’t accept calls on this.

13 thoughts on “The Home Office has finally administered the coup de grace on common sense and civil liberties

  1. Pingback: COACHEP » Blog Archive » Posts about Dodgers as of October 27, 2009

  2. At a high level of thinking I agree with you. However I happened to spend Monday with a local government audit and investigation team and was shocked at what they uncover.
    The people I was with are committed individuals who, in the course of their work uncover all sorts of social needs – eg elderly people (not chiildren) with mental health problems sleeping on a bare mattress, no bedding nor food in the house. These are situations where no crime has been committed and people are falling through the net. It must also be remembered that a person fraudulently on benefits, is stealing resources from people in genuine need.
    I was deeply moved by the passionate commitment of the local government officers I was working with. We will be working with them more extensively in the future and I’m looking forward to supporting their work.
    As with many things, there picture isn’t necessarily black and White

  3. Elizabeth

    I am quite sure there are many local government officials out there who are passionate and committed. We have, however, seen several high profile examples where Councils have abused RIPA (Terrorism) powers and I do not feel that local authorities need these powers when they can be exercised through the proper investigating authority of the Police.

    This is only one part of the significant erosion of civil liberties… there are many more illustrations.

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  5. This is a dark day for my country, for liberty and for freedom. I should feel rage but I just feel despair. Do I live with the permanent threat of my life work being forfeited at some jobsworths whim or do I flee the country?

  6. they don’t really need to prosecute people for benefit fraud though do they? far easier to use the pretty tight regulations on eg HB to use their own ‘belief’ that there has been a recoverable overpayment and take it back. thank you very much; no criminal standard, no annoying ‘proof’ thing, no judge to balance the interests of both sides. thing is, they seem determined not to bother finding the fraudulent landlord (too much effort) when they can go after the claimant so they can’t actually reclaim more than about £8 a week and the entire effort is pointless.
    and these are the people to get new and wide-ranging powers? ok.
    i’m not actually worried because whether competent or otherwise (and i’m perfectly well aware that LAs employ both sorts) the amazing tangle of bureaucracy in which they operate, the poor pay and low motivation (well would YOU want to make life hard for those who already have it hard enough?) mean that they can barely work out whether they are having a shit or a haircut – and that is a phrase straight out of LA terminology.

    if they want me, i shall be in chambers doing pro bono for those they are chasing.

  7. The Home Office has finally administered the coup de grace on common sense and civil liberties

    Thanks for sharing

    ***

    Added by Charon….

    Steve the builder… thanks for coming on in the hope of advertising your Leicester Building Merchant Business – very thoughtful of you.. I am sure readers will very much appreciate being able to go to your website after reading about these quite important issues.

    I have simply deleted your website URL – next time, it may point at something unusual… like a cartoon.. perhaps Fritz the Cat…. or worse…..
    Thanks for sharing…… you say! Wow… original..

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