November 10, 2005

We don't need new terror laws

Thinking about New Labour's latest attack on civil liberties I remembered a piece from last Saturday's Independent. I read the dead tree version, but if you want to pay here is Heather Brooke on why we don't need new terror laws. Her argument is simple, we already have all the law that we need. It is just that it, like laws against yobs burglars and anyone else that might put up a fight, is not used.
what is the point of new laws when the old ones are not enforced? The rise of Islamic terrorism in Britain did not happen overnight nor did animal-rights activists or binge-drinking yobs appear from out of the blue. In each case, there was a litany of illegal activity taking place and in every instance the phrases that spring from news reports are "case dropped" or "no charges filed"
Later in the article she points out what the CPS's refusal to prosecute unless it really has to leads to:
When the CPS drops charges it means the public are not protected from criminal activity. It means others are encouraged to commit similar crimes knowing they will most likely get away with it. And the message trickles down to police who will not want to waste their time on crimes they predict will be thrown out
as the cartoon on The policeman's Blog, CPS says NO

Knowing that there will be a lot of hassle to the victim, but nothing actually coming of it
many people have given up reporting crimes.
This is the reason that both myself and The Pedant-General in Ordinary suggested that DK's Manifesto contains something in it so that criminals will actually see the inside of a court room, rather than at present. With The Pedant-General putting it simply as
Hang the Prosecuting Attorney.


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