Here is a suggested letter to send to your MP about the Criminal Justice Bill. Do add personal or other relevant details, or change as you see fit. If you have received a Community Protection Notice, or are campaigning against a local Public Spaces Protection Order, then you could add these details.
Letter to MP text:
Dear Member of Parliament,
As your constituent, I am contacting you to express my strong concern about the Criminal Justice Bill currently going through parliament. This Bill will give the police powers to ban activities in public spaces, without carrying out a public consultation. Children as young as 10 could be issued with on-the-spot legal orders, without receiving legal advice or legal aid. On-the-spot penalties for violating these orders will rise by 400% to £500.
(See a Briefing on this Bill).
These powers have been in existence for nearly 10 years, but the Home Office hasn’t yet carried out any assessment of their effectiveness, or indeed any basic data collection on how the powers are being used. It is foolhardy to introduce new measures before carrying out a proper assessment of existing powers.
PSPOs and CPNs have led to absurdities such as pensioners being fined for riding bicycles or feeding the birds, and bans on loitering or standing in groups. Several groups have spoken out against PSPOs and CPNs, including the Manifesto Club, Liberty, JUSTICE, the Kennel Club, as well as many homeless organisations. The potential for these powers to be abused has been widely covered in the press (see below).
Arbitrary powers for officials don’t build communities – they just place the public at risk of unfair or biased punishment.
I would like you to challenge the extension of ASB powers contained in the Criminal Justice Bill. I would also like you to use this Bill as an opportunity to check and scrutinise existing powers.
I would welcome the chance to discuss these issues with you if possible.
The insidious powers lurking in the Criminal Justice Bill, Spectator, 28 November
‘Cowboy’ laws ban model planes and bikinis in own garden, Sunday Telegraph, 1 July