The ‘Busybodies’ Charter’ represents the most draconian and unchecked power ever given to officials in the UK. Now the government is planning to extend it further, including giving the police power to write their own laws. We need you to join us in the fight against it.
Why we must fight this extension of police power
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 allows officials to issue legal orders without the normal checks and balances. These orders – called ‘Community Protection Notices’ and ‘Public Spaces Protection Orders’ – have been subject to massive abuse.
Pensioners have been ordered to stop feeding the birds in their own gardens, people have been banned from looking at their neighbours, an 82-year-old woman was banned from wearing a bikini in her garden, homeless people have been barred from their part of town, several councils have banned people from standing in groups in public spaces.
Now, the government’s new ASB Action Plan will dramatically increase these powers. Most worryingly, the police will be given the power to write their own laws. Police forces will be able to create new criminal offences in particular areas, which they then enforce – without public consultation.
Penalties for violating ‘Public Spaces Protection Orders’ and ‘Community Protection Notices’ will increase by 400% to £500.
Giving the police powers to write their own laws is a dangerous and unprecedented step. They will be able to impose any restrictions that will make their lives easier – whether that is banning rough sleeping or banning young people from standing in groups. Then they will be able to slap people with £500 fines.
To make matters worse, the government also wants to give police and council officers more ‘dispersal powers’ to move on homeless people, and to ban anyone from public spaces for up to 72 hours.
It also wants to extend Community Protection Notices down to children as young as 10.