Netpol have today launched a campaign to limit the gathering of data by the police on political protest. The campaign, don’t be on a database, encourages protesters to assert their legal rights to keep their personal details private. The campaign includes a series of posters and flyers with the words, ‘Your name and address is none of their business’.
Netpol has observed and reported countless incidents in which the police have tried to obtain names and addresses of protesters, often with some form of coercion. In a number of cases the police have used the threat of arrest to obtain details from protesters who had committed no criminal offence, and made unjustified allegations that people had engaged in ‘anti-social behaviour’.
The police have powers to demand personal data only in very limited situations, such as when they believe a person has committed a criminal offence, or if they are driving a vehicle. In the vast majority of instances, the police have no power to demand this information – yet they routinely do.
The new policing minister today called for the private sector to take a greater role in police work – despite fresh evidence emerging of the extent of the failure by G4S to fulfil its contract to guard the London Olympics.
Damian Green, who was appointed in last week’s Government’s reshuffle, insisted the move would free up police officers to concentrate on the frontline and save money that could be used directly to protecting the public.
He spoke out as forces consider transferring backroom functions to private companies in response to the Government’s spending squeeze, although the G4S debacle has led some to put the move on hold. Continue reading →
Officers accused of inaction as looting mobs go wild
Cameron leads calls for more robust policing
Top Yard commander: ‘We need to do more for London’
All able-bodied officers and special constables called in
Plastic bullets would be used for first time ‘if deemed necessary’
Shopkeepers joined an increasing chorus of voices today demanding to know what the police were doing as swathes of London descended into chaos last night.
Business owners accused police of adopting a softly-softly approach which left their shops and businesses vulnerable to attack by baying mobs.
While police were criticised in some quarters for being far too slow to get to riot scenes, officers were accused by shopkeepers in Hackney of standing just yards away from looters as windows were smashed and armfuls of goods were scooped up.
Cypran Asota, who has run the Boots opticians for 25 years, told the London Evening Standard how he watched as the shop was destroyed.
The chief constable of Cleveland Police and his deputy have been arrested as part of a criminal inquiry into fraud and corruption, risking further damage to the reputation of UK forces following the resignation last month of two of the most senior officers in the Metropolitan Police.
Sean Price and Derek Bonnard, are thought to be two of the three people arrested on Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into concerns over how the Cleveland Police Authority, the force’s governing body, may have conducted its business.
Warwickshire Police would not identify those arrested but said in a statement that three arrests had been made “on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice”.
A chief constable has not been arrested and convicted of an offence since 1958, a police historian confirmed.
Bullets similar to illegal dum-dum ammunition and designed to cause catastrophic injury are to be used as standard by police marksmen in London. Senior officers at the Metropolitan Police have selected the bullet because it is better at incapacitating a target and is less likely to pass through the body to hit someone else.