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Control Orders

Comment 26th July 2010

Given the recent decision over the death of Ian Tomlinson, and others in the recent past, it seems this country is in danger of becoming a police state. Where we have the opportunity to rein in the powers of the police (and associated authorities) and ensure their accountability to the British public and to the law they are sworn to uphold, we should take it.  A small example. The police have been given clear guidelines on people's right to take photographs in public places, yet they continue to ignore these instructions by stopping and harrassing photographers, ostensibly under Sections 43 & 44 of the Terrorism Bill. The police, it seems, are becoming a law unto themselves.

Why does this matter?

Under the overwhelmingly broad umbrella of counter-terrorism, it seems that some sections of the law enforcement agencies are manipulating, misusing or just plain ignoring the law and the right of the individual to be treated fairly and correctly when coming into contact with these agencies. If we allow these abuses to pass uncontested, we are tacitly condoning them and will have only ourselves to blame when we have lost our trust in the police (such as it is), have lost the right to be treated fairly and to speak out against injustice and institutional cruelty, and will no longer be allowed to contribute to forums such as this.

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