Stop Local Councils from Prosecuting Innocent People with Barmy Laws

Local councils are threatening to prosecute and are even prosecuting law abiding people (who are not harming anyone else and in some cases actually trying to improve society) for some of the most bizarre reasons.

If you do not believe me consider the following absolutely true and completely daft cases that have appeared in the national and local press

(i) Wiltshire Council threatened a man with prosecution if he cleaned the grass verge outside his property .

(ii) Copeland Borough Council fined a man because his wheelie bin lid was overfilled by four inches.

(iii) Swansea Council prosecuted a man for accidentally putting the rubbish in the wrong cycling bin and now he has a criminal record. The irony here was this man was a keen recycler who was trying hard to recycle.

(iv) Havering Council prosecutes a law abiding shop owner for a scap of paper 120 yards from his shop. That could happen to anyone, for all we know the paper could have been dropped when the bin men last collected the bins or it could have just blown out of the bin.

(v) Ipswich Council fined a 14 year old £50 for feeding a seagull half a chip.

(vi) Hinckley and Bosworth Council prosecuted a man for putting two pieces of junk mail into a street bin with his address on it. Is it really a criminal offence to put rubbish in a street bin?

I could go on and on…

My proposals are that the government should, at the very least, be minded to:

(1)  reword or even, in some cases repeal, any central government laws which allows such crazy prosecutions (or crazy threats to prosecute). I realise that for local bye-laws it might be difficult for central government to do anything.

(2)  not use the criminal law over such trivial matters. Something as serious as a criminal prosecution is not appropriate for some trivial offence like putting rubbish in the wrong place. In none of these cases has anyone deliberately littered or deliberately refused to recycle. Maybe this could be achieved by primary legislation in parliament.

(3) tell councils very firmly that they must use their powers far more sparingly and far more responsibly.

Why is this idea important?

Local councils are threatening to prosecute and are even prosecuting law abiding people (who are not harming anyone else and in some cases actually trying to improve society) for some of the most bizarre reasons.

If you do not believe me consider the following absolutely true and completely daft cases that have appeared in the national and local press

(i) Wiltshire Council threatened a man with prosecution if he cleaned the grass verge outside his property .

(ii) Copeland Borough Council fined a man because his wheelie bin lid was overfilled by four inches.

(iii) Swansea Council prosecuted a man for accidentally putting the rubbish in the wrong cycling bin and now he has a criminal record. The irony here was this man was a keen recycler who was trying hard to recycle.

(iv) Havering Council prosecutes a law abiding shop owner for a scap of paper 120 yards from his shop. That could happen to anyone, for all we know the paper could have been dropped when the bin men last collected the bins or it could have just blown out of the bin.

(v) Ipswich Council fined a 14 year old £50 for feeding a seagull half a chip.

(vi) Hinckley and Bosworth Council prosecuted a man for putting two pieces of junk mail into a street bin with his address on it. Is it really a criminal offence to put rubbish in a street bin?

I could go on and on…

My proposals are that the government should, at the very least, be minded to:

(1)  reword or even, in some cases repeal, any central government laws which allows such crazy prosecutions (or crazy threats to prosecute). I realise that for local bye-laws it might be difficult for central government to do anything.

(2)  not use the criminal law over such trivial matters. Something as serious as a criminal prosecution is not appropriate for some trivial offence like putting rubbish in the wrong place. In none of these cases has anyone deliberately littered or deliberately refused to recycle. Maybe this could be achieved by primary legislation in parliament.

(3) tell councils very firmly that they must use their powers far more sparingly and far more responsibly.

Can You Empty Your Dustbin In Peace In The Peoples’ Republic Of China?

Too much petty interference is evident in the UK. Officials can intimidate and harrass you for a whole range of petty offences many of which carry a criminal sanction by them to levied on us. I want this pettiness and the powers to use it removed and presumed illegal in most cases and situations.

Why is this idea important?

Too much petty interference is evident in the UK. Officials can intimidate and harrass you for a whole range of petty offences many of which carry a criminal sanction by them to levied on us. I want this pettiness and the powers to use it removed and presumed illegal in most cases and situations.

Close Websites Like www.gun-control-network.org

The GCN and other websites like it do nothing to solve the problem.  These types of website put forward a bigoted untruthful and very misleading version of the facts designed only to give the impression of owning the moral high ground.  These harmful sites create fear and prejudice against a segment of society whom they know nothing about and do not understand.  And because of their ignorance they choose to project fear and loathing instead of education and understanding.

Why is this idea important?

The GCN and other websites like it do nothing to solve the problem.  These types of website put forward a bigoted untruthful and very misleading version of the facts designed only to give the impression of owning the moral high ground.  These harmful sites create fear and prejudice against a segment of society whom they know nothing about and do not understand.  And because of their ignorance they choose to project fear and loathing instead of education and understanding.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act

This is another of those characteristic laws that gives almost unlimited powers to the enforcer with the (not so) comforting explanatory note that it will "never be used".

 – Get rid of the black boxes: privacy is fundamentally more valuable than the comfort of law enforcers.

 – Get rid of the reverse burden of proof: you cannot prove a negative no matter how hard you try.

 – Get rid of the gagging order.

 – In fact get rid of the entire act. Try being rational for a change.

Fundamentally, I do not trust you, the politicians. You are beneath even contempt, as recent events have shown.

You have no honour.

And you are far more of a threat than any number of dodgy cyber-criminals, no matter what sort of pictures they look at.

Is that clear enough for you?

Why is this idea important?

This is another of those characteristic laws that gives almost unlimited powers to the enforcer with the (not so) comforting explanatory note that it will "never be used".

 – Get rid of the black boxes: privacy is fundamentally more valuable than the comfort of law enforcers.

 – Get rid of the reverse burden of proof: you cannot prove a negative no matter how hard you try.

 – Get rid of the gagging order.

 – In fact get rid of the entire act. Try being rational for a change.

Fundamentally, I do not trust you, the politicians. You are beneath even contempt, as recent events have shown.

You have no honour.

And you are far more of a threat than any number of dodgy cyber-criminals, no matter what sort of pictures they look at.

Is that clear enough for you?

Withdraw government endorsement of the Internet Watch Foundation

ISPs would no longer be required to use the blacklist of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) if they want a government contract as happens now.

Why is this idea important?

ISPs would no longer be required to use the blacklist of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) if they want a government contract as happens now.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

The RIPA regulates the manner in which certain public bodies may conduct surveillance and access a person's electronic communications. The Act:

  • enables certain public bodies to demand that an ISP provide access to a customer's communications in secret;
  • enables mass surveillance of communications in transit;
  • enables certain public bodies to demand ISPs fit equipment to facilitate surveillance;
  • enables certain public bodies to demand that someone hand over keys to protected information;
  • allows certain public bodies to monitor people's internet activities;
  • prevents the existence of interception warrants and any data collected with them from being revealed in court.

Why is this idea important?

The RIPA regulates the manner in which certain public bodies may conduct surveillance and access a person's electronic communications. The Act:

  • enables certain public bodies to demand that an ISP provide access to a customer's communications in secret;
  • enables mass surveillance of communications in transit;
  • enables certain public bodies to demand ISPs fit equipment to facilitate surveillance;
  • enables certain public bodies to demand that someone hand over keys to protected information;
  • allows certain public bodies to monitor people's internet activities;
  • prevents the existence of interception warrants and any data collected with them from being revealed in court.