The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (aka the ‘Busybodies’ Charter’) has led to absurdities such as pensioners being fined for riding bicycles or feeding the birds, and bans on loitering or standing in groups.
Now the government wants to amp up this Act and give police and council officers EVEN MORE powers.
The Criminal Justice Bill will give the police powers to ban activities in public spaces, and allow on-the-spot legal orders to be issued to primary school children.
The abuses of power we have seen so far are nothing compared with what will happen if this Bill is passed.
Please contact your MP and tell them you are opposed to these extensions of unaccountable, unchecked power. Tell them you want them to place this bill under scrutiny. See a suggested letter to send to your MP.
If this bill is passed….
1. The police could ban whatever they pleased in public spaces.
The police would be able to make Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) – legal orders that ban or restrict activities in public spaces – without carrying out a public consultation.
2. On-the-spot legal orders could be issued to children still in primary school.
Community Protection Notices (CPNs) – on-the-spot legal orders – could be issued to children as young as 10, and there is no legal aid for appeals.
3. ‘Busybody Charter’ penalties would increase from £100 to £500.
Penalties for violating PSPOs or CPNs would rise by 400%, meaning £500 fines for activities such as loitering, swearing, begging, wild swimming, busking and feeding birds.
4. Homeless people could be imprisoned for failing to leave an area when directed.
Under new ‘nuisance rough sleeping’ powers, officers could order a homeless person to leave an area for 3 days, and if they don’t they could be imprisoned for a month and fined £2500 pounds.