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VillagePlank

Criminalising the Young

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The State are at it again.

 

Now, for the first time since perhaps Dickens wrote his powerful narratives on the regressive nature of Victorian England, we are to introduce imprisonment for non criminal offences.

 

Specifically, there is a new injunction - expected to get Royal Assent this spring - that is designed to prevent nuisance and annoyance or, as the lingo states it 'to nip emerging problems in the bud' The legislation does not properly define what a nuisance is. The legislation does not properly define what an annoyance is. The legislation doesn't even attempt to spell out what 'nip'ping 'emerging problems' is meant to mean.

 

Here's how it works. One of an ever growing body of luminaries such as privately registered providers of social housing (that's pretty much anyone who rents a house to anyone else where a partial or full payment of housing benefit occurs) can apply for an injunction against any person who is 10 years old or above. Yes, it's not a typo - ten years old. The police will then construct a case given the 'evidence' of 'nuisance' or 'annoyance' - maybe such things as witholding rent to a landlord that refuses to fix your boiler when there's three foot of snow outside will be classified as annoying (and not only will you and your spouse be subject, so will your kids - if they are ten years or older) Almost certainly it will be a nuisance to the landlord.

 

The police will take their case before a magistrate, and if the magistrate agrees - he must agree that it is annoying or a nuisance, and that it is 'convenient' to agree - an injunction will be issued. The idea of reasonable doubt has been thrown out and no longer applies, it uses the civil test of 'balance of probabilities' - which, in effect, means 'in the opinion of...' There is no maximum length of time an injunction can be in force unless you are child (under 18) in which case it will last a year. If you are 18 years old and one day, or older, it can last for the rest of your life.

 

This in effect creates bespoke criminal law. Why? Because if you breach the injunction it is considered that you have broken the law (the rather broad civil contempt of court) and can therefore be imprisoned for up to two years if you are an adult, and it's off to a children's detention home for three months if you are over 14.

 

English law banned imprisonment for civil cases years ago.

 

More here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/251312/01_Factsheet_Replacing_the_ASBO_-_updated_for_Lords.pdf

Edited by Sparkicle

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I think you'll find that nuisance refers to eggs being thrown at your house cars being vandalised verbal abuse threatening abuse or a neighbour from hell. The only question is do we really need a new law rather that we use the present laws and enforce them properly.

Your titles really wrong as it can be any age not just the young.

Edited by The PIT

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Read about this. Very worrying. Creep, creep, creep towards a police state; almost inevitable under both far right and far left governments.

 

It's not just for the young; it's for people protesting, for the homeless / destitute etc, for preventing riots. All these result from growing inequality.

 

We have the anti-terrorism legislation (with communists gone, now 'terrorists' are used as the reason for reducing civil liberties).

 

Then the UK government breaks the law, is found guilty, so retrospectively changes the law to get itself off the hook (workfare case). This is shocking as it means it can make something you are doing right now legally illegal, and back date that, i.e. you can be charged for doing something which was legal when you did it.

 

 

Add in the spying...

 

Partly a product of the UK having no constitution to protect its citizens.

 

Now, they are making it so people can be imprisoned for doing things which are not illegal.

 

Thank god law is a devolved matter / Scots law is independent.

 

Some bits on firearms and forced marriage will be adopted into Scots law.

 

The scary asbo stuff will not.

 

http://scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0043/00438072.pdf

Edited by scottish skier

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I don't care it people are annoyed with this new rule, it is about time that little trouble causers that blight estates with their petty mob rule are brought to book.

They are the young bullies that make old peoples lives a misery, they always shout "can't touch me I am only a child" when the police arrive.

So it is about time, well done whoever thought of it...

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I don't care it people are annoyed with this new rule, it is about time that little trouble causers that blight estates with their petty mob rule are brought to book.

They are the young bullies that make old peoples lives a misery, they always shout "can't touch me I am only a child" when the police arrive.

So it is about time, well done whoever thought of it...

I know where you coming from and I know where the others are coming from. Sounds like we've got some trash moved into our area judging by noise outside. Anyway the law seems to be too vague and can be misused by our police not that they would ever abuse the system.

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Until the late 19th century much of our city space was owned by private landlords. Squares were gated, streets were controlled by turnpikes. The great unwashed, many of whom had been expelled from the countryside by acts of enclosure, were also excluded from desirable parts of town.

 

Social reformers and democratic movements tore down the barriers, and public space became a right, not a privilege. But social exclusion follows inequality as night follows day, and now, with little public debate, our city centres are again being privatised or semi-privatised. They are being turned by the companies that run them into soulless, cheerless, pasteurised piazzas, in which plastic policemen harry anyone loitering without intent to shop.

 

Street life in these places is reduced to a trance-world of consumerism, of conformity and atomisation in which nothing unpredictable or disconcerting happens, a world made safe for selling mountains of pointless junk to tranquillised shoppers. Spontaneous gatherings of any other kind – unruly, exuberant, open-ended, oppositional – are banned. Young, homeless and eccentric people are, in the eyes of those upholding this dead-eyed, sanitised version of public order, guilty until proven innocent...

 

George Monbiot: .http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/06/law-to-stop-eveyone-everything

 

 

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@katemart

 

Excellent - couldn't find that article after reading it at work earlier. Remembered a good comment below it:

 

Civil liberties

We will be strong in defence of freedom. The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness.

We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion.
We will introduce a Freedom Bill.
We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports.
We will outlaw the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
We will extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.
We will adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
We will protect historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
We will restore rights to non-violent protest.
We will review libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
We will introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
We will further regulate CCTV.
We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason.
We will introduce a new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.
We will establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in British law, and protects and extends British liberties. We will seek to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties.

 

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100526084809/http:/programmeforgovernment.hmg.gov.uk/civil-liberties/

 

How's all that coming along I wonder, given that the government is now more authoritarian than when first elected... Notched up +1 on the compass authoritarian scale already. Compare...

http://www.politicalcompass.org/euchart

http://www.politicalcompass.org/ukparties2010

Right up there with eastern block former soviet states in terms of restricted civil liberties coupled with joint most right-wing.

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@katemart

 

Excellent - couldn't find that article after reading it at work earlier. Remembered a good comment below it:

 

Civil liberties

We will be strong in defence of freedom. The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness.

We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion.

We will introduce a Freedom Bill.

We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports.

We will outlaw the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.

We will extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.

We will adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.

We will protect historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.

We will restore rights to non-violent protest.

We will review libel laws to protect freedom of speech.

We will introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.

We will further regulate CCTV.

We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason.

We will introduce a new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.

We will establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in British law, and protects and extends British liberties. We will seek to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties.

 

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100526084809/http:/programmeforgovernment.hmg.gov.uk/civil-liberties/

 

How's all that coming along I wonder, given that the government is now more authoritarian than when first elected... Notched up +1 on the compass authoritarian scale already. Compare...

http://www.politicalcompass.org/euchart

http://www.politicalcompass.org/ukparties2010

Right up there with eastern block former soviet states in terms of restricted civil liberties coupled with joint most right-wing.

If they are so keen on preserving our rights, how about the normal decent hard working people getting some rights too I.e. Protection from being mugged in the street, protection from having their house burgled, their wives and daughters protection from sexual assaults and worse, protection from scammers and frauds men.

I'm all for civil liberties but it works both ways but at the moment normal Joe Bloggs working hard to support his family is being Sierra hotel alpha tango'd in every direction whilst the criminal fraternity are having the life of Riley - what we need most is transparent justice for all.

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If they are so keen on preserving our rights, how about the normal decent hard working people getting some rights too I.e. Protection from being mugged in the street, protection from having their house burgled, their wives and daughters protection from sexual assaults and worse, protection from scammers and frauds men.I'm all for civil liberties but it works both ways but at the moment normal Joe Bloggs working hard to support his family is being Sierra hotel alpha tango'd in every direction whilst the criminal fraternity are having the life of Riley - what we need most is transparent justice for all.

Crime should be difficult to do and punishable hard if done, like wise the honest person who works hard should be free to be about their lives and liberties and never afraid to.

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..justice should be without equality - whether you're begging in the gutter or a multi-millionaire plc owner..or indeed somewhere else inbetween. 

of course it should, but as mike said, all too often the honest hard worker gets basically shafted in the name of "rights" and money has always brought people, be they at the top "a judge" or "a grass" in the middle  or "a mole" at the bottom, because everyone wants and everyone wants more. Some for example steal because they need to to live, others because they can and it gets them "more".

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We don't need a new law anyway just use the present ones.

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It was a terrifying proposal in its original form, thankfully the Lords have seen sense. The worst bits were the "to any person" clause- ripe for abuse by people like a nasty, bitter old woman near where I used go live who used to rant and rave at kids playing football on the piece of grass in the street, pointing to a faded 1960s "No ball games" sign and always signing off with the words "I'm not being funny".... Yes you are, if it bothers you that much then go and live in a nursing home.

 

And the lack of a time limit. Even Asbos had one of those. While a group of drunk 18 year olds in the street might cause an annoyance, they don't deserve to be labelled as such for years afterwards. And will it be used against the undeniable nuisance caused by, say, firms who do building work at 8am? Or the gas board digging up roads without warning and leaving cones, traffic lights and debris there for a week afterwards? Or perish the thought, airlines whose emissions prevent sunlight getting through? Will it hell, there's always the easy targets instead.

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I think all young 'uns are terrible criminals and should be locked up immediately and for a very long time - but I would say that 'cos I'm an old fart and was never young myself....

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It was a terrifying proposal in its original form, thankfully the Lords have seen sense. The worst bits were the "to any person" clause- ripe for abuse by people like a nasty, bitter old woman near where I used go live who used to rant and rave at kids playing football on the piece of grass in the street, pointing to a faded 1960s "No ball games" sign and always signing off with the words "I'm not being funny".... Yes you are, if it bothers you that much then go and live in a nursing home.

 

And the lack of a time limit. Even Asbos had one of those. While a group of drunk 18 year olds in the street might cause an annoyance, they don't deserve to be labelled as such for years afterwards. And will it be used against the undeniable nuisance caused by, say, firms who do building work at 8am? Or the gas board digging up roads without warning and leaving cones, traffic lights and debris there for a week afterwards? Or perish the thought, airlines whose emissions prevent sunlight getting through? Will it hell, there's always the easy targets instead.

If it says no ball games you shouldn't be playing there simple as that. So yes you should have been moved on. Again a common sense copper would just move you on.

Edited by The PIT

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From what I have seen a good many of the young have been criminalised by criminal parents who don't really give a damn about their children and are more interested in spending their ill gotten gains on fags and booze.

Unfortunately the kids grow up thinking that it is normal life and they go on to bring up another generation in turn. At the same time these kids certainly know that crime is wrong and when you get a 9 year old kid telling you as one did me once, 'you can't do anything about me, I'm not 10 yet', it makes you think.

Far from lowering the age of criminal responsibility we really need to try and find a way of ending this cycle - the only way I can think at the moment is to increase the investment in youth training - things like cadet training, scouting movements and outward bound courses can be used to give kids a sense of adventure and self worth. Above all give them goals in life - this could be achieved by a carrot. And stick approach in respect of the parents - after all if they are p'ing their benefits up the wall, then really they don't need so much and those who take the responsibilities seriously can be given a little more tho help them encourage their offspring.

At least this way it will open the kids' eyes to another side of life and help them develop into more useful citizens

Edited by mike Meehan

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Sounds like a far too sensible idea that mike - it'll probably cost a fair packet too? See that's the root of the problem...best we continue the big stick approach, keep making a myriad of new laws, potentially demonising more and more young people and perhaps carry on as if nothing has happened. Domestic issues? Been forgotten about for what seems an eternity.Almost forgot, prisons don't come cheap either - ah well. That's the easy option.

A stitch in time saves nine - we owe it to the future of our country, to our kids and grand kids to invest properly in our young because unless we do our country will gradually to pot and while they are doing this they can do away with the university fees as well - they just serve to create future mill stones.

 

The problem is that our MP's are far keener on winning the next election and safe guarding their personal futures than what they are in the future of our country.

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Kids ain't daft and learn very quickly that no punishment means bad behaviour can continue unabated. This also links into the no smacking error of the child tzar or nutter or whatever they are.

A lot of kids who behave badly are often shocked when they're told off because nobodies done it before.

I don't think being the scouts will change their behaviour. When i was at school a lot of badly behaved fellow kids were in the scouts and it didn't improve their behaviour rather they formed a gang outside the scouts.

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Read about this. Very worrying. Creep, creep, creep towards a police state; almost inevitable under both far right and far left governments.

 

It's not just for the young; it's for people protesting, for the homeless / destitute etc, for preventing riots. All these result from growing inequality.

 

We have the anti-terrorism legislation (with communists gone, now 'terrorists' are used as the reason for reducing civil liberties).

 

Then the UK government breaks the law, is found guilty, so retrospectively changes the law to get itself off the hook (workfare case). This is shocking as it means it can make something you are doing right now legally illegal, and back date that, i.e. you can be charged for doing something which was legal when you did it.

 

 

Add in the spying...

 

Partly a product of the UK having no constitution to protect its citizens.

 

Now, they are making it so people can be imprisoned for doing things which are not illegal.

 

Thank god law is a devolved matter / Scots law is independent.

 

Some bits on firearms and forced marriage will be adopted into Scots law.

 

The scary asbo stuff will not.

 

http://scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0043/00438072.pdf

Not altogether SS - Police states were what they had in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and its satellites where generally personal freedom was subjected to the will of the state and people were denied the freedom of speech, movement and action that we all take for granted.

 

In a police state people would run the risk of being immediately carted off to the 'Gulag' for expressing many of the ideas they express on this forum for example.

 

Whilst I agree that many successive governments have gone overboard through introducing 'nanny state' regulations and have impacted on some personal freedom in small niggling ways it is nothing like what I understand a police state to be and I say this as a smoker who at one time liked nothing better than to sit in a pub enjoying a pint and a pipe whilst chatting with my friends.

 

Freedoms have to be balanced by allowing the individual to live his life as he wishes and the detrimental effect he has on the rest of society. The ultimate in personal freedoms would be to rape and pillage to our heart's content for some people but we don't allow that.

 

Here we have the situation whereby people through utterly selfish behaviour are making other peoples' lives a misery and although Pit says that there are other laws governing the general behaviour of people, they are not always provable - for instance S 5 of the Public Order Act - it has to be committed in a public place and usually is best proved by a policeman witnessing it at the time.

 

Here is a system where people who are affected by unruly behaviour can make a complaint which can lead to action being taken by the courts.

 

The excess of freedom of the unruly has to be balanced against the lack of freedom experienced by decent people being intimidated to such an extent that they are unable to continue their normal lives.

 

There have been and there still are many people who live in a real police state who would be extremely envious of the freedoms we enjoy in the country.

 

Although we don't have a written constitution, we do have Common Law which has grown organically since time immemorial and in some way is better than writing on a piece of paper, because once written it can often lead to interpretation in so many different ways, whereas Common Law remains an idea which evolves with time to maintain the idea of keeping the Queen's Peace, which is the normal state of a peaceful society and generally follows the notions of common sense developed by society over the ages.

Edited by mike Meehan

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Kids ain't daft and learn very quickly that no punishment means bad behaviour can continue unabated. This also links into the no smacking error of the child tzar or nutter or whatever they are.

A lot of kids who behave badly are often shocked when they're told off because nobodies done it before.

I don't think being the scouts will change their behaviour. When i was at school a lot of badly behaved fellow kids were in the scouts and it didn't improve their behaviour rather they formed a gang outside the scouts.

I was never in the scouts but was in the air cadets and although I say it myself we were pretty well disciplined - to have misbehaved that much could have left to the withdrawal of privileges, like flying, which none of us wanted.

 

I included scouts because, although I have a lot of time for the cadet systems, they would not suit everybody but what kids do need are role models who set an example and they can respect; couple this with being able to experience adventure, the opportunity of learning to be part of a team, experience discipline, find out more about themselves and learn to set their own goal for what they want to achieve in life with some hard love at times when they are going wrong. In my view the majority of kids would respond to this.

 

No doubt 'Mr Elfn'safetyman', will try to put the mockers on many of the exiting parts but he has evolved as a result of the 'let'sclaimafewbob' society we have developed into, which is leaving the bounds of common decency and sense. So this a another thing which needs to be addressed.

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Mike,

 

As a health and Safety Practioner I find it sad and frankly annoying that we are blamed for the incompetence of others, that prevent people enjoying themselves. Anything to have a cheap shot at the majority of people involved with the health and safety of others who are completely opposite to the sterotype that the media delights in portraying.

 

IOSH the professional institution to which I belong actively encourages outdoor activities and only dealing with risks on a propotionate basis. They favour the Sweedish approach to how youngsters enjoy themselves by letting them use knives etc whilst camping so that they are aware that if they are not careful there is the likelihood they may cut themselves. This instills a sence of responsibility within the youngster and improves their ability to perform a task.

 

It is really important areas such as the construction and agricultural industries where fatalities and serious injuries occur that serious control of high risk activities is essential, not worrying unduly about a possible papercut whilst filling the fax machine!

 

Sorry to rant off but you have touched a sensitive nerve!

 

Kind Regards

 

Dave

Edited by claret047

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Mike, As a health and Safety Practioner I find it sad and frankly annoying that we are blamed for the incompetence of others, that prevent people enjoying themselves. Anything to have a cheap shot at the majority of people involved with the health and safety of others who are completely opposite to the sterotype that the media delights in portraying. IOSH the professional institution to which I belong actively encourages outdoor activities and only dealing with risks on a propotionate basis. They favour the Sweedish approach to how youngsters enjoy themselves by letting them use knives etc whilst camping so that they are aware that if they are not careful there is the likelihood they may cut themselves. This instills a sence of responsibility within the youngster and improves their ability to perform a task.  It is really important areas such as the construction and agricultural industries where fatalities and serious injuries occur that serious control of high risk activities is essential, not worrying unduly about a possible papercut whilst filling the fax machine! Sorry to rant off but you have touched a sensitive nerve! Kind Regards Dave

Dave,Sorry it was not personal and there are situations where they are doing a good job, however it was our current claim culture I was getting at and this has given rise to some H&S people and those who employ them going OTT with all sorts of little things which quite honestly can take the excitement and spontaneous enjoyment out of kid's play - safety goggles when playing conkers?Getting a few knocks is part of growing up and it does equip people more for later life.Some ridiculous decisions have come out, for example the Chief Constable of Essex disbanding his heavyweight motorcycle section a few years ago - the blokes are specially trained for these for goodness sake; then there was the time when a woman police officer was going to put in a claim because she tripped over a pavement until she thought better of it or received suitable advice.Bloody 'ell, clambering over fences, walls and roofs when chasing suspects is something we all did at sometime or other- it's what we signed up for and came part and parcel with the job.As it was I never did get injured but one applies a little savvy when going into these situations.

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Dave,Sorry it was not personal and there are situations where they are doing a good job, however it was our current claim culture I was getting at and this has given rise to some H&S people and those who employ them going OTT with all sorts of little things which quite honestly can take the excitement and spontaneous enjoyment out of kid's play - safety goggles when playing conkers?Getting a few knocks is part of growing up and it does equip people more for later life.Some ridiculous decisions have come out, for example the Chief Constable of Essex disbanding his heavyweight motorcycle section a few years ago - the blokes are specially trained for these for goodness sake; then there was the time when a woman police officer was going to put in a claim because she tripped over a pavement until she thought better of it or received suitable advice.Bloody 'ell, clambering over fences, walls and roofs when chasing suspects is something we all did at sometime or other- it's what we signed up for and came part and parcel with the job.As it was I never did get injured but one applies a little savvy when going into these situations.

Good Afternoon Mike,

 

No apologies are necessary. I believe that I mentioned in another thread a few days ago that IOSH until last year used to sponsor the World Conker Championships somewhere up in the midlands each year (and all done without goggles and metal gauntlets)

 

In the past I used to have a lot to do with Essex Police- providing Asbestos Awareness Training for both their building surveyor's architects etc as well as their operational staff. The officers were concerned that they had not been briefed on the dangers associated with searching building for example for drugs where there is the possibility of disturbing the material. As you know from your time with the police addicts and dealers will hide their drugs almost anywhere and intrusive searches of the premises are often required which may release asbestos fibres. Another danger that had to be highlighted especailly in squats was the presence of needle which could cause a puncture injury.

 

I was also the CDM Coordinator on a number of projects on their properties.

 

By the way dont talk to me about the wastage of money by that constabulary. They restablished a Mounted Police Unit a few years ago at considerable expence and a year or to back disbanded it again.

 

On a lighter note I recall a project at Police Headquaters when I attended a Pre Start Project Meeting when the facilities manager at the time warned the Principal Contractor to avoid leaving bricks unsecure on site as they would go walkies as officers would take them home to build BBQ's

 

 

Kind Regards

 

Dave

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Good Afternoon Mike,

 

No apologies are necessary. I believe that I mentioned in another thread a few days ago that IOSH until last year used to sponsor the World Conker Championships somewhere up in the midlands each year (and all done without goggles and metal gauntlets)

 

In the past I used to have a lot to do with Essex Police- providing Asbestos Awareness Training for both their building surveyor's architects etc as well as their operational staff. The officers were concerned that they had not been briefed on the dangers associated with searching building for example for drugs where there is the possibility of disturbing the material. As you know from your time with the police addicts and dealers will hide their drugs almost anywhere and intrusive searches of the premises are often required which may release asbestos fibres. Another danger that had to be highlighted especailly in squats was the presence of needle which could cause a puncture injury.

 

I was also the CDM Coordinator on a number of projects on their properties.

 

By the way dont talk to me about the wastage of money by that constabulary. They restablished a Mounted Police Unit a few years ago at considerable expence and a year or to back disbanded it again.

 

On a lighter note I recall a project at Police Headquaters when I attended a Pre Start Project Meeting when the facilities manager at the time warned the Principal Contractor to avoid leaving bricks unsecure on site as they would go walkies as officers would take them home to build BBQ's

 

 

Kind Regards

 

Dave

Funnily enough I could see advantages in having a mounted branch a few years ago, the main ones being that it would be so much easier and effective when searching open ground for suspects and missing people etc and the other is that they can assist greatly in crowd control at such things as football matches and riots.

However, the searching open ground is now taken over by helicopters with thermal imaging and the other marvellous things they carry these days. 

As for the crowd control, they would still be useful but their need in such forces as Essex or my old force Hertfordshire would not be justified by the cost - if ever we need them it would be much simpler to rent them from the MPD.

The asbestos training is a good point - although most people now know that it is bad, not too many know how to handle it, if they have to. I can see the reasoning behind warning recruits of the dangers of needles etc but I would have thought the more experienced officers would have been well aware of these dangers when searching premises, clothing and cars etc - I certainly was - in fact I was a custody sergeant for a number of years and I made a point of going to my GP to get a hepatitis jab, just in case. As it happened I never did get a prick from a little prick :D

It amuses me to think of police officers walking around with bricks stuffed down their truncheon pockets :D but loose bricks lying around can be hazardous for all sorts of reasons,  they can be thrown at police officers!

I'm glad kids can play conkers without the goggles and gauntlets, somehow these things take the fun out of it but in any case keep up the good work - what we really need is the balance between what is exiting and safe and that which is damned foolhardy but you appear to have your head screwed on better than some others.

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I don't think we're necessarily creeping towards a police state but I am seeing a lot of evidence that we're trending towards a society where you can't enjoy yourself for fear of a minority abusing your source of enjoyment, or someone misinterpreting it and being offended, and where you can't really do much other than work and have a family.  Typically, individual restrictions are trivial in isolation but accumulate over time to produce undesired end results.

 

I generally see the more over-zealous Health and Safety rules as a case of H&S groups falling foul of this trend (e.g. for fear of being sued for negligence unless they legislate for risk in ways that show a willingness to compromise innocent people for the sake of improving safety), rather than H&S being what initiated it in the first place.

 

About the original proposal, it is another of those (like a fair number of recent road traffic proposals) that would be a good idea if used to focus enforcement primarily against the persistent or high-rank troublemakers but what often happens in reality is that some authorities set up over-zealous rules and justify them on the basis, "Rules are rules", and/or clamp down disproportionately on members of the general public who make the occasional misjudgement.

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