This is more wrong than… well pretty much everything.
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.
You see that? Used a statutory instrument to hand over unfeckingbelievable powers to local authorities and quangos. Democracy? Fuck that.
Even the fucking coppers are aghast.
The radical extension of the Proceeds of Crime Act, through a Statutory Instrument which is not debated by parliament, has been condemned by the chairman of the 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.
So are the shysters.
His concerns are shared by leading legal figures, who believe that there is a risk of local authorities abusing the powers to search people’s homes, seize their money, freeze their accounts and confiscate their property. They also see parallels with the spread of counter-terrorist surveillance powers to monitor refuse collections and school catchment areas.
Yes – we have ample evidence that the council will go to fucking town with any powers given to them. Tis the nature of the beast. A who watches the watchers? Another Quango.
An “explanatory memorandum” says that a swath of financial investigators attached to the newly empowered bodies will be accredited, trained and monitored by another quango, the National Policing Improvement Agency. The memo adds that asset seizure will result in financial rewards: “Investigation bodies will receive a share of money recovered as additional funding to incentivise further work in recovering the proceeds of crime.”
Councils and other bodies had access to asset recovery powers before but only with with the authorisation and involvement of the police. Now they will be able to act independently of any police force or law enforcement agency.
And existing powers of confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime act have not been without problems. Ask anyone who has a safe-deposit box.
The extension of such draconian powers to civilian investigators coincides with mounting legal concern about the operation of the law of confiscation. But the Home Office maintained last night that the measures would “boost the fight against crime” and “free up valuable police time”.
Lawyers who specialise in confiscation law have been expressing concern about the extension of the powers for some time. One judge said: “It looks like this has been sneaked through.”
Andrew Bodnar, co-editor of a book on asset recovery law, said that the Proceeds of Crime Act had been carefully crafted and designed but its implementation often left much to be desired. “The theory behind the law is right. But if these powers are to be used to seize the assets of — to take an extreme example — fare dodgers or council tax defaulters, it is very difficult to see how those theoretical aims are being met.
“The extension of these powers should be monitored very closely. The spectre of counter-terrorism powers being used to monitor people’s bin- filling habits, or what school they’re trying to send their children to, should be cautionary.”
Indeed they fucking should.
Talk about driving a coach and horses through democracy and justice. I’ll say it again.
FUCK YOU LABOUR, YOU JACKBOOTED, NATION WRECKING FASCIST CUNTS.
Fuck this bullshit country.