Skip to main content

Control Order Lite

The BBC have this story on their website about the Government's new Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (aka T-PIMS, which just sounds like a mobile phone company to me).

I don't have any immediate comment about these orders aside from the observation that there doesn't seem to be very much difference between these and the Control Orders that they replace.  It does strike me that if these people are seriously dangerous and the authorities know it then there must be a better system for dealing with them, such as bringing them to trial.  Maybe you think that is naive of me and that the Security Services must protect the sources of their information.  You may be right; I don't know.  I do know that the police manage to operate a large and highly secretive (unless you go to my basement where you'll find the informant handling manual!) intelligence system that utilises data from a wide range of sources from super grasses to rumors heard on the street.  If you ever find yourself involved in a large scale gang fight that results in a murder you will quickly see the scope of this intelligence network as officers effortlessly produce information about who knows who in a given area, where people were seen together, what nicknames (or streetnames if you prefer) people are known by.  If you hear on the news of a big incident and then that 25 people have been arrested shortly after then you are probably seeing the result of this huge intelligence database.

My point is that the police manage to handle all this information without revealling their sources, in fact I once saw a DI told by a judge that he had to answer a question from Counsel about the informant handling system, the DI looked at the judge and said, "No".  So, if the police can do it, why can't the Secret Intelligence Serivce & Co.?

Another point occurs to me: if the people on control orders really are as dangerous as the Government says then why aren't the Government keen to find someway to lock them up in a prison that won't be criticised as breaching the Human Rights Act, e.g. by holding trials?  While I never trust any politician, I do believe that they must believe these people are very dangerous otherwise I'd have thought the new lot would have accused the last lot of being scaremongering fools.

For me at least, this debate really is a catch-22.  I don't have enough information to come to a proper conclusion so I'm forced to rely upon the advice and decisions of those who do have the information; however, I don't trust the people making the decisions as they refuse to reveal any detail about why they have reached their decisions.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ched Evans

Before I begin, I will say that at around 4,500 words this is probably the longest blog I’ve ever posted but I think it’s all necessary to set the scene for this case and explain the background that has been largely ignored or airbrushed in the press. Despite its length, I have not attempted to include every little detail of either fact or law but have done my best to provide a balanced picture of the Ched Evans case, what happened and why the courts reached the decisions they did. There has been so much written about the Ched Evans case over the past weekend, much of it based on a very shaky grasp of the facts and law, that I decided I would read up about the case and weigh in (hopefully on a slightly firmer footing than most of the articles I’ve read so far).

Broadly speaking there seem to be three groups who have opinions on the case:
1.Sexual violence groups (including people describing themselves as “radical feminists”) who appear to take the view that the case is awful, the Court o…

How do the police decide whether to charge a suspect?

A question I’m often asked by clients (and in a roundabout way by people arriving at this blog using searches that ask the question in a variety of ways), is “how do the police decide whether to charge or take no further action (NFA)?”
What are the options?
Let’s have a quick think about what options are available to the police at the end of an investigation.
First, they can charge or report you for summons to attend court.  Charging means that you are given police bail and are required to attend court in person.  A summons is an order from the court for you to attend or for you to send a solicitor on your behalf.  In many cases where a person is summonsed, the court will allow you the option of entering a plea by post.
Second, you may be given a caution.  These can be a simple caution, which on the face of it is a warning not to be naughty in future, or it can be a conditional caution.  Conditions could include a requirement to pay for the cost of damage or compensation, etc.  Either…

Bid to prevent defendants knowing who accuses them of a crime

When I read The Trial by Kafka and Nineteen Eighty-Four by Orwell, I took them as warnings of how a bad justice system wrecks lives of those caught up in it. Sadly, some Members of Parliament and the House of Lords seem to view the books more as a guide to how they would like our Criminal Justice System to run. Today, I read of plans to hide the names of accusers and witnesses from defendants in a large number of cases. Victims of sexual offences, such as rape, have had the right to lifelong anonymity for many years now. This means that it is a criminal offence to publish information that will lead to a complainant being identified. A Bill currently being considered by Parliament would extend that anonymity to bar defendants and their lawyers knowing the name of the person accusing them. This would apply not only in sexual offences, as has been reported in the press, but also in violent offences.
The anonymity currently offered to victims of sexual offences is not total, the complainant…