We are the law!

The Association of Chief Police Officers is consulting its members about possible new powers for police officers. The wide-ranging proposals include giving officers the power to issue a 3 month banning order on anti-social gang suspects from associating with one another in public. Both Liberty and the Police Federation of England and Wales are not happy. How should the PSNI, Hugh Orde and the Policing Board respond?

  • maura

    Fairdeal, if I have missed the explanation, sorry, but on what basis are Liberty and the Police Federation of England unhappy about this proposal.

  • fair_deal

    See the second link, neither could be characterised as welcoming/happy about the proposals

  • Rory

    This association represents only Chief Police Officers in England and Wales and their opinion on this occassion is strongly rejected by the federation representing their own rank and file. The implementation of law to support their stance in Northern Ireland, particularly at a time of testing the acceptability of a new-look police force would be nothing short of disastrous. And much as I see the attractions, faced as I am in South-East England with daily aggravation from young yobboes, I do not see how a police force which either is not able or does not trouble to respond to urgent 999 calls reporting immediately life threatening incidents can make much difference with this proposed new law which would be less effective than a fly-whisk round a dunghill and which is certain to foster even further resentment and comtempt for policing among both those being harrassed and those perceived to be liable for the harrassment.

  • Police catch offenders, courts punish them. It’s been that way for a while now and I don’t think it is going to change, whatever ACPO might say or want. I fear to pass comment on something I have no experience of, but I can’t imagine rank and file officers in the PSNI taking a different view to those in England and Wales. I am also guessing that the particular features of keeping law and order in Northern Ireland would make it less likely that senior officers would want to be seen also as prosecutors. The whole thing would blur the process of upholding law and go against any notion of police impartiality.

  • Rory

    Police catch offenders, courts punish them.

    Foolish me thinking that police charged suspects with committing an offence who were then tried for that suspicion of guilt before a court. But I have to admit that your formulation is the generally accepted view. Thus far has the state already eroded our own understanding of our rights under law. We do not need that they be eroded even further by unilateral police power than they are in public perception of the law.