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Police state or the state of policing


tonyh29
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I find it sinister that neighbourhood groups are increasingly energised to monitor and inform on their next door neighbours. Does this not remind of us of anything?

i'm sure that when I said on another thread i wouldn't grass someone up if i saw a minor crime taking place (minor ,i'm not talking rape or murder etc) i got a lot of flack and the usual I'm alright jack and not on my street type replies thrown at me ...(must be something about what i post :-) )

but it would suggest that most on here are happy with grassing thy neighbour ?

I think there is a difference about being aware of what is happening in your neighbourhood and taking action against things in your neighbourhood (these two coupled) and spying on and grassing up one's neighbour.

If I saw a crime taking place in my neighbourhood (or was aware of one taking place), I would see it as my duty to do something about it. Now that would probably come down to who was doing what and whether that crime fell within the bad degrees of my 'moral compass'.

If it were a neighbour with whom I had a decent relationship, I would try and point out the folly of his action and hope that he would correct his behaviour.

If it were some bod attacking someone, I would intervene.

If it were a robbery at a car lot opposite where I live - I would call the coppers and then go outside to confront the burglars.

If it were anti-social neighbours who couldn't give a damn about anyone else, were rude, objectionable and threatening then I'd go that extra yard to even gather info for Five-0 on their drug dealing habits (including number plates, descriptions and witness statements).

:lol:

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I find it sinister that neighbourhood groups are increasingly energised to monitor and inform on their next door neighbours. Does this not remind of us of anything?

i'm sure that when I said on another thread i wouldn't grass someone up if i saw a minor crime taking place (minor ,i'm not talking rape or murder etc) i got a lot of flack and the usual I'm alright jack and not on my street type replies thrown at me ...(must be something about what i post :-) )

but it would suggest that most on here are happy with grassing thy neighbour ?

I think there is a difference about being aware of what is happening in your neighbourhood and taking action against things in your neighbourhood (these two coupled) and spying on and grassing up one's neighbour.

If I saw a crime taking place in my neighbourhood (or was aware of one taking place), I would see it as my duty to do something about it. Now that would probably come down to who was doing what and whether that crime fell within the bad degrees of my 'moral compass'.

If it were a neighbour with whom I had a decent relationship, I would try and point out the folly of his action and hope that he would correct his behaviour.

If it were some bod attacking someone, I would intervene.

If it were a robbery at a car lot opposite where I live - I would call the coppers and then go outside to confront the burglars.

If it were anti-social neighbours who couldn't give a damn about anyone else, were rude, objectionable and threatening then I'd go that extra yard to even gather info for Five-0 on their drug dealing habits (including number plates, descriptions and witness statements).

:lol:

Get yourself a yellow jacket, your new job title is PCSO Snowy :D

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Get yourself a yellow jacket, your new job title is PCSO Snowy :D

Only just noticed this.

I think that is one of the most hurtful suggestions I have ever heard. :lol::lol:

So I'm not good enough to be a real rozzer, then. :winkold:

Seriously, my old cricket captain (who is a mate) became one of those things. He's a really decent bloke and would undoubtedly be an asset in his local area BUT what a load of old billyo the whole PCSO thing is, eh?

AND they have more powers than the police on some things (demanding name and address being one).

EDIT: Like the Lincoln quote as your sig.

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So what does that leave the polce to do? Fighting organised crime? Becoming high level detectives.

I'll tell you exactly what this leaves the Police to do. Hide in hedges with speed guns catching naughty people doing 32MPH in a 30 zone. Which is pretty much all they seem to do anyway.

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I find it sinister that neighbourhood groups are increasingly energised to monitor and inform on their next door neighbours. Does this not remind of us of anything?

i'm sure that when I said on another thread i wouldn't grass someone up if i saw a minor crime taking place (minor ,i'm not talking rape or murder etc) i got a lot of flack..

good point. I think though that what people (well me) are concerned about is almost related to the tone.

Informing, monitoring, snooping, etc - it sounds authoritarian and state controlled, sinister, basically.

Personally, I feel that "civic responsibility" is a good thing overall. Therefore contacting the police if you have a concern over someone's actions or criminal behaviour is something that should be done, by and large. I didn't always hold that view, until burgled (while away) by the (then) next door neighbour and his mates - he was a drug dealer - much more so than I thought. I thought it was a few spliffs, but it turned out to be hard drugs.

Anyway reporting crime, or suspected crime, is not quite the same as "snooping or monitoring" which implies surveillance, and going out of your way to nose into people's affairs, encouraged by the state. The State, which IMO is deliberately trying to scare people, to make them afraid, so that draconian powers can be introduced in the (ironical) name of "freedom".

Yes we need to be more community aware, more responsible, perhaps, but not to become an arm of the Government.

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Fear of crime is far far greater then the actual incidence of crime in this country.

Blame the media and their "we're all going to hell in a handcart" bullshit.

Crime exists, but it's not as huge a problem as some would have you believe. Drugs are the biggest contributor to crime today - if we had a political party prepared to face up to the realities of the drugs problem and act realistically (legalisation and regulation), it would have a huge effect on low-level crime.

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  • 2 weeks later...
If you are of a paranoid persuasion you might think the government is trying to get people used to the idea of the uniformed armed forces on the streets...

Ha ha! We haven't even got enough blokes to fight the two wars we are in effectively let alone policing the streets of the UK! This is much more to do with an attempt to reconnect the public and HMF because a growing minority of small brained people are holding them responsible for the decisions of the Labour Party. Exceptionally stupid of them, but at least the problem has been recognised and the authorities are trying to do something about it.

However a few battalions back from Iraq 'surging' bad estates in anti-chav patrols might go down quite well with alot of folks.

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If you are of a paranoid persuasion you might think the government is trying to get people used to the idea of the uniformed armed forces on the streets...

I must admit that I would prefer not to see anyone in any kind of uniform (save for plod) on the streets - certainly not military personnel when off-duty (I'd have thought they'd be glad to be in civvies personally).

That, however, does not excuse the god awful behaviour of some who think that it is ok to abuse and spit at anyone for whatever reason, let alone what they are wearing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In times of war, extreme measure can be justified

The new force, called a new Civil Protection Network, will be based on the local Neighbourhood Watch schemes.

The Prime Minister said he wanted to see “improved resilience against emergencies” from floods to terrorist attacks.

This would take “not the old Cold War idea of civil defence but a new form of civil protection”.

People will be asked later this year if they want to join up to help defend Britain’s security and then be given training in how to deal with a number of threats.

Whitehall officials played down suggestions that the new force will be a new British Home Guard or 'Dads’ Army’.

One official said it was more likely to be “a variation” of the ARP [air raid precaution wardens] who patrolled Britain’s streets during the Blitz.

As per tony's sig - 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not a roadplan.

Let's watch neighbours (Gruaniad 2006)

In 1984, George Orwell set out a nightmare vision of a society under constant surveillance, in which neighbours are encouraged, via telesecreens, to spy on one another to enforce conformity.

But if the idea sounds like a far-fetched sci-fi satire, think again. Something close to what Orwell imagined is about to happen in east London.

No, not in the Big Brother house, but in real homes in a real neighbourhood. Residents of two estates in Shoreditch, east London, are to get live CCTV footage of their areas on a new digital TV channel.

Police will broadcast details of local people suspected of breaching antisocial behaviour orders as part of the Community Safety Channel’s coverage, and residents are encouraged to report any deviant behaviour via their TV screens.

If the schemes proves to be a success, it will be offered to 20,000 homes. Other boroughs have shown an interest in taking it up on their estates.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Of course CCTV is there to protect people and act as a deterrent to serious crimes. And access to these resources is tightly controlled to ensure they are not abused.

Of course if you describe lying on a skule admission form a serious crime, and if you regard tight control to mean none at all, that's all very true.

Council admits spying on family

A council has admitted spying on a family using laws to track criminals and terrorists to find out if they were really living in a school catchment.

A couple and their three children were put under surveillance without their knowledge by Poole Borough Council for more than two weeks.

The council admitted using powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) on six occasions in total.

Three of those were for suspected fraudulent school place applications.

It said two offers of school places were withdrawn as a consequence.

Human rights pressure group Liberty called the spying "ridiculously disproportionate" and "intrusive".

James Welch, legal director for Liberty, said: "It's one thing to use covert surveillance in operations investigating terrorism and other serious crimes, but it has come to a pretty pass when this kind of intrusive activity is used to police school catchment areas.

Liberty's Alex Gask describes the use of powers as 'ridiculous'

"This is a ridiculously disproportionate use of RIPA and will undermine public trust in necessary and lawful surveillance."

RIPA legislation allows councils to carry out surveillance if it suspects criminal activity.

On its website, the Home Office says: "The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) legislates for using methods of surveillance and information gathering to help the prevention of crime, including terrorism."

Of course the tin foil hat wearing yoghurt knitters will claim that this backs up their preposterous view that the War On Terror (WOT?) is just being used as an excuse to enact a whole raft of enabling legislation that empowers the state to do as it wishes and subverts democracy (see also Counter-terrorism bill 2007/8 (aka democracy bypass provisioning act) )

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I saw one of the representatives of Poole council being interviewed and part of his defence was that only three such investigations had taken place out of a population of x number of thousand.

I think he might have got the concept of 'proportionate' mixed up with 'proportional'.

The most worrying thing is that there will be some who think that it is not only OK but the way things ought to be and will seek to justify it on the same terms as the council - either that it was only a few people or that their first and foremost duty is to protect the access to the funds allocated to those within their parish.

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Of course the proper use for CCTV, mobile 'phones and good old fashioned snooping is to report people who drop litter. Well not actually the people who drop litter but the owners of cars from which the litter is dropped.

Local councils to handout fines for litterbugs caught on CCTV

Cameras will be used to track down and fine motorists and their passengers who throw litter from cars, The Times has learnt.

Local councils could use evidence collected from CCTV footage, by traffic wardens and even by members of the public on their mobile phones.

Ministers are considering whether to extend the powers of local councils to help them to tackle a problem that is blighting Britain's byways and lay-bys.

Other councils are keen to adopt similar powers, Joan Ruddock, the minister for waste, confirmed to The Times last night.

Transgressors of a nationwide policy would incur fines of up to £80, but it would not lead to a criminal record or to points on a driving licence. Refusal to pay, however, could lead to prosecution and a criminal record.

It is estimated that more than 30 million tonnes of litter are collected from the streets each year and 1.3 million pieces of litter are dropped on the roads each weekend.

The plan comes as the Campaign to Protect Rural England, under the direction of its president, Bill Bryson, urges everyone to support its three-year Stop the Drop campaign.

Writing in The Times today, Bryson argues that councils are still not doing enough to tackle the littering of streets and the 2.6 million fly-tipping incidents each year.

According to the CPRE, more than two thirds of local authorities have not prosecuted a single fly-tipper in five years.

Councils have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for littering, but only £1.5 million is collected nationally — a fifteenth of the amount raised by the London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in parking fines.

Bryson calls on councils to be more robust in prosecuting offenders, for schools to issue more guidance to pupils on littering and for the road and rail authorities to take their clean-up obligations more seriously.

He suggests a tax on takeaway food, a redeemable deposit on drinks containers and the introduction of more litter bins, many of which disappeared from cities because of security fears.

Ms Ruddock said that she would have talks with Paul Bettison, of the Local Government Association, who wants a nationwide strategy to tackle littering from cars. She said: “I have great praise for Bill Bryson’s campaign. I share Bill’s anger and concerns about the blight to rural areas.”

Of course, what we should do is get rid of these inconvenient ideas of 'evidence', 'guilt' and 'innocence' altogether. It would make things so much easier.

And if you don't like someone - just ask them to give you a lift somewhere and drop some litter from their car. Make sure that the owner of the car doesn't see you but make sure everyone else does. Not your offence, see.

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  • 4 weeks later...

CCTV boom 'failing to cut crime'

Huge investment in closed-circuit TV technology has failed to cut UK crime, a senior police officer has warned.

Det Ch Insp Mike Neville said the system was an "utter fiasco" - with only 3% of London's street robberies being solved using security cameras.

Although Britain had more cameras than any other European country, he said "no thought" had gone into how to use them.

Det Ch Insp Neville heads a unit which is piloting a new database to track offenders using CCTV.

Speaking at the Security Document World Conference in London, Det Ch Insp Neville, the head of the Met's Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Office (Viido), said one of the problems was that criminals were not afraid of cameras.

He also said more training was needed for officers who often avoided trawling through CCTV images "because it's hard work".

"CCTV was originally seen as a preventative measure," the Guardian quotes him as saying.

"Billions of pounds has been spent on kit, but no thought has gone into how the police are going to use the images and how they will be used in court. It's been an utter fiasco: only 3% of crimes were solved by CCTV.

"There's no fear of CCTV. Why don't people fear it? [They think] the cameras are not working."

New database

CCTV operators also needed more feedback to ensure they felt "valued", he said.

Det Ch Insp Neville's unit is now piloting a new database of CCTV images which police hope will help track and identify offenders.

The unit is also looking at ways of using software which can follow distinctive brand logos on the clothing of unidentified suspects.

In addition, from next month, his team will be putting images of suspects in muggings, rape and robbery cases on the internet.

"If criminals see that CCTV works they are less likely to commit crimes," Det Ch Insp Neville added.

Ken Pease, from the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, at University College London, said looking through hours of footage could be "tedious" for officers.

"If you look at the data, and I have done some of the research myself, they do have an effect.

"The thing is the effect wears off, and it wears off for the reasons that are pretty clear - which is the non-use of the very tedious job of sifting through footage for less than very serious crimes."

John Dwyer, former Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire police, told BBC Radio 5 Live that cameras did provide a deterrent effect "provided its evidenced that the police are indeed taking action based on the footage gained through these CCTV cameras".

There are more than 4.2 million cameras in the UK, but until Viido was set up in September 2006 there had been no dedicated police unit to deal with the collection and dissemination of CCTV evidence.

If Viido, based at Southwark Police Station, is judged to be a success it could lead to the development of specialist CCTV units across the country.

CCTV - not the great weapon that it is believed to be?

Instead of canning the whole idea, let's make more use of it. I know what - let's get ourselves a database. That seems to solve every problem in the country.

TV licensing - 'It's all on the database'.

Car Tax - 'You can't escape the database'.

And : the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science ?? :shock:

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  • 3 weeks later...

It seems that Poole borough council are not the only ones using RIPA:

link

Council 'acted like Dick Tracy'

An MP has accused his local borough council of acting like comic strip detective Dick Tracy by misusing surveillance laws.

Brian Binley MP said the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, designed to track criminals and terrorists, was used to catch dogs fouling on grass.

The Northampton South MP said the council misused the act 19 times, and urged councils to stop using the law.

A Northampton Borough Council spokesman said it used the powers appropriately.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) came into force in 2001 to allow bodies to use methods of surveillance and information gathering to help the prevention of crime, including terrorism.

Information from the council shows it has used the Ripa surveillance powers 19 times since the act came into force.

These were for dog fouling five times - where dog owners were issued with fixed penalty notices after they were caught. Surveillance was used by the council in six benefit fraud cases, four further cases of fraud, two cases of noise nuisance and two cases of anti-social behaviour.

Sparingly used

Mr Binley said: "As I understand it, what is happening is that somebody is naming a dog owner whose dog is defecating on the pavement and the dog owner is not picking it up.

"So what the borough of Northampton does is go out with a secret camera.

"I just wonder whether the people in this country want this world or not - I suspect they do not.

"I am perfectly happy to give police powers in order to fight terrorism and very serious crime, but when it gets to this level you really have to question it."

A spokesman for Northampton Borough Council said the council had used its powers carefully and sparingly.

"We apply the regulations very strictly to catch fly-tippers, for example, but we do this only where there is intelligence to suggest this will be worthwhile, never just as a trawl in the hope of catching someone," the spokesman said.

"We have not used covert surveillance at any time in the past year."

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Police given hand-held computers

Details of a £50m scheme to provide police forces with 10,000 hand-held computers have been unveiled.

Some 27 forces in England and Scotland will benefit from the devices, which Gordon Brown last year said would cut paperwork by 99 minutes per shift.

Police Minister Tony McNulty said the move would make crime fighting more effective and save officers time.

However, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said there were not enough devices to meet demand.

Mr McNulty said of the initiative: "It is just one of a range of improvements we are delivering to cut unnecessary bureaucracy, exploit new technologies and enable police officers to spend more time on frontline policing."

Ailsa Beaton from Acpo said demand from forces showed the "appetite within the police service for mobile communications in support of frontline officers".

"Demand has far outstripped supply and consequently some forces were disappointed," she said.

Database access

Uses for the computers will include confirming identity, on-the-spot forms such as stop and search, and scanning fingerprints.

"Papers Please?"

Computers on the beat - not in itself a bad policy - making the forces more efficient is to be welcomed. It is however an enabler for the enforcement of the surveillance and database society.

"Card please sir - left it at home, no problem sir, just place your thumbs here. Thank you Mr Hamza, sorry to have bothered you"

Once again the yoghurt knitters knee-jerk over reaction to a sensible policy?

"The impact of these spot checks should not be underestimated. Immigration officials (clad in body armour and carrying handcuffs) question suspects for up to 40 minutes, in full view of other passengers, while their details are checked on wireless laptops and fingerprint-scanning technology linked to national databases."

The police and immigration services have combined in a new "street sweep" operation that targets passengers on the London Underground and passers-by in the street. Their crime? Looking foreign.

_______________

Earlier this year a white British friend of mine, with dark skin and hair, was stopped by an immigration official outside a north London Tube station. The man questioned him about his journey before letting him go. Later the same day he returned to the station and was again approached - this time he revealed he was a journalist and almost immediately the official hurried away.

"As soon as I told him I worked for a local paper he let me go. It really pissed me off because he made no effort to explain who he was or what he was doing," fumed my friend. "Maybe I looked foreign: why else did he stop me?"

________________

There is no record, however, of how many innocent passengers have been pulled aside and questioned in these sweeps. Nor does anybody know if black, Asian- or eastern European-looking people have been targeted. The official guidelines for these "street operations" (as the Home Office calls them) state that details of each stop should be noted - but the Home Office says the data is not collated centrally because it is impractical and expensive.

________________

Babalola has good reason to suspect the Immigration Service. He and another black colleague were themselves interrogated by immigration officials during an operation at Shepherd's Bush station. "We weren't the only inspectors in plain clothes but we were the only black inspectors in plain clothes. We were approached and asked what we were doing," he says. "It's like we live in a police state. The only place they should be doing that is a port of entry to a country. How long before we see them at Tesco?"

________________

None of this affects the many white Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans who have overstayed their visas. They are more likely to receive helpful directions than intrusive questions as they travel. But, then, they were never the problem: this crackdown is directed against the "unwashed hordes" from the south and east. Immigration officials can already discriminate under the Race Relations Amendment Act. In 2001 the Home Office allowed officials to "prioritise" particular groups such as Tamils, Kurds and Roma at ports of entry. Is it any surprise they discriminate elsewhere?

So the technology is already being used to control those with darker skins, only a matter of time with the expansion of the availability of the technology that other target groups are identified and targetted - drinkers? football fans? those with unpaid parking fines?

"Papers Please"

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From the first link:
The forces which made successful bids were...
:shock:

Are 'resources' from central government part of a bidding process, now?

The 'resources' were the different police farces across the country and as such it is right that the people who have to enforce totaliarism should be the people best placed to decide where such resources should be targetted. Was it not lord bliar of makeitupasyougoalongshire that told us the police demanded 90 day detentions and without it the country would fall apart, and look at the result. Doubt the force and live to repent your weakness at your leisure. (ps knifecrimes up, teenage crime up, violent crime up - none of which this helps to prevent)

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I saw one of the representatives of Poole council being interviewed and part of his defence was that only three such investigations had taken place out of a population of x number of thousand.

I think he might have got the concept of 'proportionate' mixed up with 'proportional'.

The most worrying thing is that there will be some who think that it is not only OK but the way things ought to be and will seek to justify it on the same terms as the council - either that it was only a few people or that their first and foremost duty is to protect the access to the funds allocated to those within their parish.

How about RIPA is not proportionate or proportional.

What would you want the council to do if the grass your kids played on was littered with dogsh@t? Employ a full time cleaner for every park? Not good use of money (or funds).

How can the council catch people committing the offences if they can only conduct enquiries hampered by a left wing piece of legislation (has to be surveillance to see an offender?) when surely it would just be easier to let someone "go under cover" and watch?

If that's the locals issue, how do you not use RIPA? Council complaints regarding the amount of dog crap have not been released. I would put money on it being moaned about like f@ck to the council. So they tried to do something.

Common sense is outlawed in this country. RIPA is there so surveillance can be audited. This has come to light because it is audited.

Where's the problem?

I would agree you should moan if they do surveillance willy nilly and without audit.

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Where's the problem?

Where's the problem that anyone's movements are under surveillance as though they were criminals?

Where's the problem that legislation that was passed through parliament for the purposes of tackling serious crime is being used 'willy nilly' (with retrospective 'auditing') for surveillance of any citizen deemed watchable by some council civil servant?

Of course it ought to be proportionate. All 'powers' given to anyone ought to be proportionate.

Is RIPA the best line of defence against dogshit? If it is then we, society and the whole of our existence is lost, lost, lost.

If there ought to be carte blanche given to the surveillance of everyone with retrospective analysis as to whether it was OK 'audit wise', then our society deserves to be wiped out as a shallow, thoughtless, undignified, invasive, disgusting waste of oxygen.

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