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.