Wednesday, October 28, 2009

They never learn do they?

The problem with giving power to someone is that often enough they find new and interesting ways to abuse it. Take the RIPA (Regulatory (of) Investigative Powers Act) a recent rash of news stories exposed how councils nationwide have been using RIPA to monitor dog fouling and littering. Councils are supposed to use surveillance to check on  transgressions such as fly tipping and benefit fraud, but found it was possible to abuse it on school catchment applications.
So, seeing what a good idea that was, the Government come up with this idiotic idea

Councils get ‘Al Capone’ power to seize assets over minor offences

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.
My God can't they see just how wrong this could go? Draconian doesn't even begin to cover up the potential for abuse that the average council jobsworth who's convinced they are right and you are wrong about a council tax dispute you are involved with? People could be out of a house and home before they get an oops sorry, but we'll give you another house in a  local sink warzone by way of apology.
Even the plod think it's a bad idea.
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.
The new rules will put the investigative powers in the hands of trained  internal financial investigators, not even lawyers. This is a classical scorched earth policy by Labour, taking their contempt for  traditional rights and twisting it into a potential nightmare for any poor sod who falls foul of an agent of the state. After all, they don't make mistakes now, do they?

As you would expect, none of this applies to Scotland.

1 annotations:

James Higham said...

My God can't they see just how wrong this could go?

No, 'cause they're numpties and the people who gave them the powers want it to go wrong.