Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Proceeds of Crime Act Powers to be Widened to Councils, Quangos and Others

Royal Courts of Justice

Strangely there is little media cover of this subject. Remember last year when Poole Borough Council was found to be conducting surveillance on families merely to see if they were living in the right school catchment areas for their children?

Such behaviour from councils could well become far worse from this week for those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I can find no trace of a similar law coming into effect soon in Scotland but I'm sure my readers will correct me if I'm wrong.

A 'statutory instrument' laid before the Westminster Parliament earlier this year will allow draconian policie powers, intended to catch crime barons, to be delegated to councils, quangos and agencies so that they can seize assets from members of the public.

It gets worse. The powers will allow councils and financial investigators for organisations such as the Royal Mail and London Transport to freeze assets search homes, seize cash, confiscate property and obtain private financial records. The new measures, coming into force this week, will allow these dangerous powers (intended to be used by police for serious criminal investigations), to be used against fare dodgers, families unable to pay their council tax and other 'dangerous criminals'.

There was no discussion, debate, coverage, statement or justification for this quite extraordinary and potentially dangerous extension of this power of the state.

Under this government there seems to be more and more secondary legislation produced without any parliamentary discussion let alone scrutiny. What are MPs doing? Their job is to scrutinise government surely.

Of course the introduction of these measures is just the tip of the iceberg. This will be in effect very shortly and touch each and every one of us, including here in Scotland.


Delphius1 said...

The government are skint, in debt and will use any and all means to extort money out of the population.

If I don't see tax riots in the next 12 months, I will be very suprised.

I've said before, 2010 is a pivotal year for the UK as so many issues will come to a head.

The pressure on government (of any persuasion) to substantially raise taxes and simultaneously cut services will have only one outcome as far as I can see.

polaris said...

I think we should all voluntarily give ourselves up at the nearest prison. You know - before we are caught doing something we do not know is a crime.

That should satisfy the gummint's desire to prove they are tough on crime and the causes of crime - us, all of us.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

Sorry to be off-topic, but there has been so little even somewhat even handed coverage of the Glasgow NE bye-election, I wanted to point this out as being much better than most:

The battle for Glasgow North East

Does it strike one as odd that some of the MOST biased coverage comes from your own BBC--or that is my observation anyway for what little it's worth.

subrosa said...

You could well be right Del because I don't think the tories will make a blind bit of difference.

subrosa said...

It would be a damn sight cheap to live polaris. I've been arguing with NPower about my gas and electric bills today only to be told it's just as well I did put in my new boiler last year because prices have risen 60% since.

subrosa said...

Thanks so much for the link Jeanne. No it doesn't come as a surprise that the BBC are the most biased. Most of us here know that.

Delphius1 said...

Thats the thing: whoever gets in next year has already been forced into the situation of huge increases in the tax take thansk to Labour's scorched earth fiscal policy.

Instead of going to court, adding to costs and maybe getting their money back, councils will be able to cut out the middleman and seize your assets. The only word for it is extortion, because you have no other alternative but to pay. Government sets the tariff and you HAVE to pay, or else.

No democratic process involved in tariff setting, just pay up or else. If anyone else did it they'd be labelled a criminal. Instead we the victim of government overburden get made into criminals instead, because they set the law.

It really is time for a change. The longer things go on and escalate like they are doing, the higher the risk of violent change.

subrosa said...

And of course Del, the police won't be on our side, they'll be on theirs.

It's so worrying, it doesn't really bear thinking about.

I'm just doing a wee post for later about a grandfather being fined for swearing at a council official.

Quite unbelievable.

banned said...

SR, do you have Bailiffs in Scotland ?
Until recently the court would send the Baillif to your house to take your stuff in payment of a debt but they required your implied consent to enter ( even if in practise that meant bullying their way past a pregnant girl or aging widow ).
Labour have already changed the law so that when the Council decide that you owe them money ( even if you dispute it ) they can send in the Baillif who can now break into your home to get what the Council says you owe them plus cover the Baillifs fee. You never do get your Day In Court, they just keep taking your stuff till there is none left. Just like burglars do.

Should you resist the Baillif the Police will arrest you for common assault which will get you a criminal record, fail your CRB check, lose your job, lose your house and family, life on the street, death in the gutter. All over a disputed overstay in a parking permit bay.

Thanks Nu Labour.

subrosa said...

Banned there used to be bailiffs here and I thought they'd been done away with, but I can't find any info in google.

Years ago I had experience of them. I won't bore you with the story but it was possibly the most humiliating half hour of my life meeting these people. All because the council had two files about my council tax.

The council never even wrote to apologise. All I received was a phone call saying it had been an 'administrative error'.

Somehow I still think these people have the right to invade your home here but I'm sure some of my readers will let us know.

polaris said...

In Scotland they are called Sheriff's Officers, and have the same powers of seizure as a Bailiff, with appropriate court orders.

Dramfineday said...

Trust Labour, not content with the RIPA act now we have this? Soon to be followed by the card scheme and biometric this tht and the other, "naked" scanners at airports, face recognition etc. etc. A government lost in the wonderland of the micro-processor and what they can do with it.

You asked what our MP's are doing - answer trying to work out the fiddles they can get up to under the new rules whilst remaining above us in the sanctity of the "house".

Still, never mind, when the next dictator takes over, we'll all be there, cataloged, sterotyped and in our ticky tacky boxes. Little chance of a Wiiliam Wallace saving us then.

subrosa said...

Sadly there's been little chance of a William Wallace saving us for some years now Dram.

Policies are just being driven through to suit the politicians' ideas of social engineering.

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