Thursday, 10 June 2010

Stop, search, terrorise

Section 44 of the so-called Terrorism Act has been the most abused and perverted part of the dubious, all-encompassing, vague and illegal set of measures meant to safeguard UK society from acts of terror.

It was illegal, was the European Court ruled it had no safeguards against police abuse of power, and well, it essentially allowed police to stop & search people without the police having any reason nor reasonable suspicion.

Thousands of people were targeted, and it generated great media furore also due to the hundreds of amateur, semi-pro and professions photographers who were jumped on in truly ludicrous circumstances.

The Home Office disregarded the European Court ruling, but now, surprisingly, after a regime change, the new Home Office revealed the extent to which this Section 44 had been abused by police.

Metropolitan Police is also taking now actions to chase down (but this time in a good sense) and contact people, as there is also the faint smell of compensation in the air. Of course not for those who even successfully sued the police authorities and won their case, ending up with nice compensation after downright Stalinist abuses of police power.

But, in this so-called free society, with the Olympics coming, it is highly unlikely that the Home Office would change Section 44, even after the admission of thousands of 'administrative errors' being committed. Nice and too elaborate term for what was actually going on in this country for almost ten years.

Although there are attempts to water it down, it remains to be seen whether the application of this part of the Terrorism Act will change, as too many minds in the police forces are used to, after almost 10 years of totalitarian abuse of power, applying it at random.