Tuesday, September 27

Blair and his colleagues should be elected!

Sir Ian Blair, head of London's Metropolitan Police, amazingly proposed last week that the Police should be allowed to bypass the courts altogether, confiscate driving licences and seize vehicles, without going before either a Judge, or Magistrates.

Sir Ian's plans are yet another threat to our ancient freedoms which are being eroded in the name of public safety. Others include ID cards, the breach of the right of habeus corpus and the introduction of house arrest. Sir Ian Blair is a senior law enforcer, not a law or political policy maker. The most alarming of all, is that this Government is ushering in a kind of Orwellian limit on free speech, aided and abetted by many civil servants.

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police should act like a policeman and address some basic policing issues such as solving crime. A recent survey (Federation of Small Business, Barriers to Business Growth 2004) concluded that over 33% of offences committed against businesses are not reported because business people do not have confidence in the police's ability to solve crime. On grounds of arrogance, if not incompetence, Sir Ian should resign, not withstanding the Police Complaints Authority investigation into the mismanagement of the shooting of the innocent Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes. Sir Ian Blair could then pursue the career in politics to which he clearly believes he is suited.

Sir Ian Blair's suggestion on direct confiscation is perhaps an attempt to muscle in on the nation's so-called private 'bailiffs', who for many years have, in total disregard for the law, bypassed the courts, in co-operation with the Police (Durham and West Yorkshire in particular), seizing vehicles belonging to self employed business people; all for alleged non payment of speeding and parking fines - many of which are now known to have been imposed illegaly anyway.

I have no doubt Sir Ian Blair will argue that he is only thinking of the public interest when he makes his numerous verbal policy outbursts. Maybe he should be advised, '' you do not have to say anything ''. Perhaps the problem is more of a constitutional issue. Police Chiefs in the UK are not properly accountable to the public, the solution thus being that heads of Police services, Chief Constables, should be elected by the people. After all, their equivalents in the US are duly elected !

Comments welcome, a knock at the door at midnight expected.

PT, editor.

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