Tag Archives: crime and policing bill

Lib Dems take part in Kill the Bill protests around country

Lib Dems across the country joined protests across the country against the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Protests too place in London, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Plymouth, as well as a lot of smaller towns. The protests come ahead of a critical vote tomorrow in the House of Lords on amendments introduced in the Lords in November which greatly increase the authority of police to control protests including an increase in stop and search powers.

On Friday, Labour Lords belatedly said they will oppose the protest clauses. With the Lib Dems, Greens and independents opposing the restriction of the rights to protest, the amendments are likely to fall. As they were introduced in the Lords, they cannot be sent on to the Commons if peers vote against them.

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“Annoying” behaviour – how did Liberal Democrat peers vote?

The first really controversial parliamentary vote happened last night, on the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which I wrote about yesterday.

The Government suffered a pretty comprehensive defeat, by 306 votes to 178 on their Clause 1. However, the amendment on which they voted wasn’t much better as it kept the “capable of causing annoyance” threshold for housing situations. Now, given that the people most likely to fall foul of this are the most vulnerable people with addictions and conditions which affect their behaviour, there is  a high chance that incidents will happen at or near their home. Making them homeless helps how, exactly?

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Three reasons why criminalising “annoying behaviour” makes me really uneasy

This afternoon, the House of Lords will debate amendments to the Government’s Anti Social, Crime and Policing Bill. Clause 1, which currently states that the new Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNAs) can be granted if:

the court is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the respondent has engaged or threatens to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person (“anti-social behaviour”)

is one of the main points of concern.

These provisions should make any liberal feel extremely uncomfortable. Campaigners, including the National Secular Society, the Evangelical Alliance and the Christian Institute have joined the usual suspect like Liberty and Big Brother Watch  in mounting vociferous opposition to this clause. George Monbiot, in the Guardian today, takes a very dim view of the legislation:

These laws will be used to stamp out plurality and difference, to douse the exuberance of youth, to pursue children for the crime of being young and together in a public place, to help turn this nation into a money-making monoculture, controlled, homogenised, lifeless, strifeless and bland. For a government which represents the old and the rich, that must sound like paradise.

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Sexual Risk orders: something liberals should be worried about?

Over the next two days, the Commons will complete its debates on the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill. Liberty have already expressed concern about some of the measures within it:

The Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill proposes to replace existing orders (such as ASBOs) with a new  generation of injunctions which are easier to obtain, harder to comply with and have harsher penalties. The Bill would also introduce unfair double punishment for the vulnerable, as social tenants and their families will face mandatory eviction for breaching a term of an injunction. Other measures in the Bill include some

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