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Repeal Section 32

Comment 10th July 2010

The Repeal of Section 32 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, which allows police to force the dispersal of groups of just two or more people without justification and to ban them from that area in the future. 

Why does this matter?

This is an unnecessary piece of legislation as, were this group to be seen to be acting in a threatening or intimidatory manner they would be committing the common law crime of assault. Police would therefore be perfectly within their rights to break up any such group so perceived. But this law gives police the power to force apart groups or even pairs doing nothing wrong, that the police may just hold a grudge against or consider somehow unseemly. This law should be repealed to scale back the unnecessary and even oppressive powers the last Government gave to the police, a repeal that would be in the same vein as the scrapping of Section 44 and Sections 132-138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

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