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Police are now using anti-Terror powers in everyday Policing

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
This refers to post refers specifically to the Met police force.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jul/21/police-search-mobile-phone-court

Gemma Atkinson (not the one you're thinking of) was handcuffed and threatened with arrest outside Aldgate Station, while filming officers conducting a stop and search on her boyfriend, on her mobile phone.

They handcuffed her, lied to her about her boyfriend being arrested for drug offences, then let her go. A judicial review is being sought.

Again, I submit, this is not just a legal problem it IS a problem with officers themselves - their attitude stinks, and they do not want to be held to account.
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have a problem with the boyfriend being searched, seemed reasonable enough (he was pointed out by a sniffer dog after all).

    I don't have a problem with her filming, it's her right to.

    I do have a problem with this bollocks about not being able to film cops. I couldn't give a shit if someone filmed me.

    I also have a problem with the cops not identifying themselves, plain clothes officers MUST produce ID before searching you, that's the law.

    I do think though that she isn't entirely blameless. If I see someone doing something, and their first reaction is to lie about it, I'm going to get suspicious.
    Whatever her feelings, the law's just been changed and she was fully aware of it. She admitted so herself, she must have realised that when they started questioning her, getting defensive and lying about it wasn't really going to help, surely?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    question:

    which party do I vote for at the next general election that will actual push for the protection of civil rights?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I do think though that she isn't entirely blameless. If I see someone doing something, and their first reaction is to lie about it, I'm going to get suspicious.
    Whatever her feelings, the law's just been changed and she was fully aware of it. She admitted so herself, she must have realised that when they started questioning her, getting defensive and lying about it wasn't really going to help, surely?

    Where was the lying?

    She contravenes an insane law used purely for the purpose of preventing citizens holding repressive, unprofessional thugs to account; she was being accosted by a man far larger than her, within whom she could have reasonably had no trust because they would not identify themselves.

    I fail to see how any of her actions are an issue here - I think any reasonable person would have done exactly the same in the face of aggressive and repressive actions.

    She cannot be blamed in any way by any reasonable person for attempting to ensure the safety of her and her boyfriend; the police actions demonstrate that she was right to be worried.

    It is absolutely no surprise that complaints against the Met have shot up - and that is even excluding figures for complaints dealing with the G20.

    What I can't tell you is precisely why...

    ShyBoy:

    Not politicians, us.

    This is isn't politicians, it is our fellow citizens - members of the police who act as a law unto themselves and do not want to be held to account.

    I've said before I think that recruitment is a problem - I think the criteria for entrance into training should be way higher than it is - training longer, and pay MUCH higher with better support and benefits. People should aspire to being a police officer in the same way they do with other professions.

    I'm sorry but I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this from the 'Police - could you?' website:
    there is no formal educational requirement, but you will have to pass written tests

    That's the educational requirement for becoming a police officer. This is not to state that all or even most police officers aren't intelligent enough to do what they do - but I think modern policing and the ability to uphold the law and defend people while negotiating complex and entirely neccessary frameworks of human rights and democratic freedoms is a very demanding job, I don't know if I could do, but I'm pretty sure there are a GREAT many officers that cannot or will not either.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thing is we have to weigh up the opportunity cost in a sense.

    Antiterrorism laws:
    + provides police with powers they need to stop terrorist attacks
    + saves peoples lives
    + stops extremism
    + prevents terrorist attacks
    , however
    - infringes civil liberties
    - gives police the power to abuse civil liberties under anti terrorism laws, in much the same way a doctor might give you drugs approved for one treatment and thus NHS use, for a different condition.
    - brings into question what freedoms the police are still protecting, if we can be stopped and searched for a lot of different 'common sense' innocuous activity

    common sense dictates someone filming on their mobile phone isn't breaking the law. Then again, my common sense might not be the same as other peoples, but I truly do despair at how far people will let police push them. If a PC came up to me, I'm not going to question him, if he asks me if I've seen this fellow or where I've been in the last 10 minutes... I'm going to cooperate. It's his job and he might be investigating a serious crime thats just taken place and needs to chase up any leads immediately.

    But if he asks to start searching me or start looking at my camera or phone and just nosing about on the off chance he'll get me like that harry potter actor I would take offense. There used to be laws in place so that a PC couldn't just at will come and give you the once over, but now through the back door i.e. anti terrorism laws or anti social behaviour laws or you call it what you like - next week no doubt it will be environmental protection laws - they are being given these powers. It's the same if not worse in the US. Geneva convention, signed and ratified by most countries in the world, then the US through the back door calls it's prisoners 'enemy combatants'.

    What a crock of shit and I really do despair that this is the world we are headed towards. Where anything and everything can and will be used against me, where no doubt one day PCs will come on here and find people who've been engaging in underage drinking, smoking, sex, you name it.

    The information age has heralded in fantastic progress in education and people's ability to become educated and informed but also scarily has allowed the authoritative powers to extend their grip not just over the legitimate criminals but the average citizen by using some stupid law.

    Fed up of it tbh.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Antiterrorism laws:
    + provides police with powers they need to stop terrorist attacks
    + saves peoples lives
    + stops extremism
    + prevents terrorist attacks
    , however
    - infringes civil liberties
    - gives police the power to abuse civil liberties under anti terrorism laws, in much the same way a doctor might give you drugs approved for one treatment and thus NHS use, for a different condition.
    - brings into question what freedoms the police are still protecting, if we can be stopped and searched for a lot of different 'common sense' innocuous activity

    Which is a great argument for discretion - as WhoWhere points out, if he's doing what he should be doing, why should he worry? Sure it's not most pleasant thing in the world being videoed but actually it has the potential to open up whole new avenue for building trust in the police.

    An officer not afraid of his conduct being recorded is likely to be one who is acting within reasonable boundaries.

    Two laws of praxis that have been demonstrated over the past ten years:

    *Any powers granted will always be used to their fullest extent by those able to wield them.

    *The trust one should place in an institution is generally proportional to how receptive that institution is to scrutiny.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Where was the lying?

    She contravenes an insane law used purely for the purpose of preventing citizens holding repressive, unprofessional thugs to account; she was being accosted by a man far larger than her, within whom she could have reasonably had no trust because they would not identify themselves.

    I fail to see how any of her actions are an issue here - I think any reasonable person would have done exactly the same in the face of aggressive and repressive actions.

    She cannot be blamed in any way by any reasonable person for attempting to ensure the safety of her and her boyfriend; the police actions demonstrate that she was right to be worried.

    It is absolutely no surprise that complaints against the Met have shot up - and that is even excluding figures for complaints dealing with the G20.
    .




    The law is there, that is something we cannot change and something she admits to being aware of.
    Now the cops SHOULD have identified themselves, something I've already said.
    She also admitted she already knew they were plain clothed police officers.
    On the tape you can hear her telling the guy she wasn't filming, even though she was.

    I'm not saying their actions were correct, but neither were hers. Someone refusing to comply with a simple request of "let me see what you were filming" is going to be met with suspicion (sp).

    I personally don't think these laws help. I've got no problem with photographers, I'll quite happily pose for people, and if someone wants to film me searching someone then fine, it isn't exactly interesting so I'm not sure why they'd want to, to be honest.


    Onto your second point. It seems that it is only really the MET who is incapable of following the guidelines and implementing anti-terror laws for what they're meant for. I've only ever stopped someone under anti-terror legislation twice in 6 years. Both were guys who'd been hanging around at a train station for ages and someone had expressed concern about them. For everything else I'm quite capable of using some common sense, I know under what circumstances I can stop someone, and when I can search them. If someone is taking pictures then good luck to them, I hope they come out alright.

    I think the MET has a lot to answer for. In a push to meet recruitment targets and quotas it is obviously recruiting people who aren't suitable for the job. Goto any county force and you'll find morons are in the minority and are quickly weeded out. Jobs in my force especially are over-applied for, so it's relatively easy to find a replacement who is good.
    In the counties we are relatively well paid, and because housing is cheap we live relatively good lifestyles. The same cannot be said for the MET, it's reputation is affecting all cops, and making us all look bad.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There is one other story today in which use of anti-Terror laws had played a part, albeit a small one.

    That actor who plays a bully in the Harry Potter films was today sentenced for growing cannabis. But look how the arrest came to be:
    The pair were detained in April under the Terrorism Act after Waylett took a photo of a police patrol as they drove past.

    Innis' black Audi was searched and police discovered eight bags of cannabis and a knife.
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Showbiz-News/Harry-Potter-Actor-Jamie-Waylett-Gets-Community-Service-But-Spared-Jail-Over-Cannabis-Charge/Article/200907315343040?lpos=Showbiz_News_Carousel_Region_4&lid=ARTICLE_15343040_Harry_Potter_Actor_Jamie_Waylett_Gets_Community_Service_But_Spared_Jail_Over_Cannabis_Charge

    Now some might say it did not matter as "criminals" were caught anyway, but that certainly isn't the point. Quite why should anyone be stopped and searched under Terror laws for taking a photograph of a passing police car is beyond me. It beggars belief, really...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    next step to new world order, here we come! >_<
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Quite why should anyone be stopped and searched under Terror laws for taking a photograph of a passing police car is beyond me. It beggars belief, really...

    Welcome to London.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What I find most ridiculous is that it serves no purpose whatsoever in the fight against terrorists, real or otherwise.

    Why, but why on earth would anyone to take a photograph of a police car to plan a terrorist act? And more to the point, even if they did there is this thing called the internet and a website called Google, which can supply plenty of photographs and information about police cars.

    I'm sorry but the current anti-Terror laws must rank as the most mis-used and abused in the history of this country already, and they're only a few years (and sometimes a few months) old!
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    Whowhere wrote: »
    The law is there, that is something we cannot change and something she admits to being aware of.

    The law is something that can change.
    And although she was aware that there is a new law regarding video that may be useful to a terrorist that quite clearly didn't apply.
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Someone refusing to comply with a simple request of "let me see what you were filming" is going to be met with suspicion (sp).

    She is under no duty to 'comply' with such a request no matter how 'simple' and therefore should not be met with any suspicion.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »



    She is under no duty to 'comply' with such a request no matter how 'simple' and therefore should not be met with any suspicion.


    Maybe not, my point is she will be.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    What I find most ridiculous is that it serves no purpose whatsoever in the fight against terrorists, real or otherwise.


    being able to stop/search people randomly is useful, if it's used appropriately.
    Trouble is, it isn't.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Maybe not, my point is she will be.

    You said she wasn't blameless and then listed that as a reason why?

    She was under no duty to comply with that request and therefore any negative treatment of her following her refusal is entirely the facult of the copper.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    You said she wasn't blameless and then listed that as a reason why?

    She was under no duty to comply with that request and therefore any negative treatment of her following her refusal is entirely the facult of the copper.



    No, you misunderstand. I'm not arguing with you that the cop was right or wrong, he was wrong. He should have identified himself at the very least.

    my point was, the cop believed he was right. If he is confronted with someone he knows to be lying, he is going to be suspicious of that person.
    I'm just trying to give a reason why the whole thing carried on when she could have easily ended it by showing him what she had filmed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It would have been a very lucky day for any officer who got to handcuff the Gemma Atkinson that I was thinking about. ;)

    What else do we expect when we give the police so much power over us? They're going to abuse it, and here's a perfect example of them doing so.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    Whowhere wrote: »
    my point was, the cop believed he was right.

    This is not something I care about. Good intentions don't mean a great deal and I don't think he had good intentions anyway. He didn't want himself 'over the internet' he said.

    The thing that's important here is that the police don't understand, or do undertand but just choose to missuse the law.
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I'm just trying to give a reason why the whole thing carried on when she could have easily ended it by showing him what she had filmed.

    Why the fuck should she? If some stranger came up to you and asked to see the data on your camera or phone you'd refuse. People should have to comply with unreasobale request from the police just for an easy life.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm just trying to give a reason why the whole thing carried on when she could have easily ended it by showing him what she had filmed.

    By blaming the victim? I think you are overemphasising her entire role in this, and neglecting the effect that a bunch of people appearing out of the ether, acting aggressively and improperly has on a member of the public, who is acutely aware that these unreasonable people have some pretty arbitrary powers.

    Which they tend to like to use. Given the treatment she received up to that point, there was no reasonable reason for her to show the phone - the policeman had already made his reasons clear - 'not wanting to be all over the internet'.

    Given that, there were reasonable grounds to suspect that he would delete the images of himself, preventing him being held to account.

    I'm sorry mate, the idea that she was in any way responsible or at fault just doesn't hold up. The police are wrong here, and this woman as far as we can tell did nothing in the face of some pretty nasty treatment.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I'm just trying to give a reason why the whole thing carried on when she could have easily ended it by showing him what she had filmed.

    If she had she would have then been forced to delete it. You know how it works.

    Meanwhile, in Chatham a man is arrested for being too tall.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Meanwhile, in Chatham a man is arrested for being too tall.

    I'm sorry but there's clearly institutional tolerance of this behaviour within the police service.

    The social contract between police and public is breaking down in areas where is has traditionally been strong because the Police are not holding up their end of the bargin.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    This is not something I care about. Good intentions don't mean a great deal and I don't think he had good intentions anyway. He didn't want himself 'over the internet' he said.

    The thing that's important here is that the police don't understand, or do undertand but just choose to missuse the law.



    Why the fuck should she? If some stranger came up to you and asked to see the data on your camera or phone you'd refuse. People should have to comply with unreasobale request from the police just for an easy life.


    I didn't say she should. I'm just saying if she had, nothing else would have happened. It really does depend on if you do want an easy life, or if you want to make a point. The trouble with trying to make a point with someone in any walk of life who thinks they are right isn't always going to end in your favour, especially if that person is a policeman who is clearly mistaken on their intepretation of the law.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I didn't say she should. I'm just saying if she had, nothing else would have happened.

    So what's your point then? She did refuse, and she had every right too meaning I don't see how she's at fault at all here.
    Whowhere wrote: »
    It really does depend on if you do want an easy life, or if you want to make a point.

    No it doesn't. Refusing to comply with an unreasonable request by a policeman is not 'making a point'.

    Your whole attitude in this thread has been that if he's had just complied she wouldn't have been ill treated by the police, as though some blame must lie with her. That's wrong. The police here were completely at fault.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »

    Your whole attitude in this thread has been that if he's had just complied she wouldn't have been ill treated by the police, as though some blame must lie with her. That's wrong. The police here were completely at fault.



    She was totally right, I'm asking was it worth the hassle she got when she could have simply made a complaint later on? We could all see the cop here was like a dog with a bone. He thought he was right, he wasn't going to give up.

    This is me talking personally. I'd rather get away from that situation as quickly as possible and go make a complaint, than run the risk of being nicked for something i've not even done wrong.


    You're making the assumption that I'm trying to excuse their behaviour, when I'm not. The only cops in the entire video who were acting lawfully were the 2 uniformed guys searching the boyfriend. The unidentifiable ones were swanning about doing whatever the hell they liked.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    Whowhere wrote: »
    She was totally right, I'm asking was it worth the hassle she got

    I think's it's well worth not letting the police make unreasonable demands of you and standing up for what you know is right.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://bluesandtwos.blogspot.com/2005/11/sir-robert-peel-peelian-principles.html


    really not followed these days, the police are the public and the public are in the police, but they forget
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere, have you considered that if she had handed the phone over the film would have been immediately deleted?

    It's pretty fucking hard to make a complaint without any evidence: it's your word against five coppers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    Whowhere, have you considered that if she had handed the phone over the film would have been immediately deleted?

    It's pretty fucking hard to make a complaint without any evidence: it's your word against five coppers.



    I have, I've also considered that if she'd been arrested, from the actions of this guy at least, it would probably have been deleted as well.

    Either way, this guy was a douchebag. The sort of bloke that gives us all a bad name and bad press.
    I do my job because I like helping people. I couldn't care less if someone took photos of me or filmed me, because frankly I'm not that interesting. From conversations I've had, most of my colleagues feel the same.

    Skive, I'm not saying you're wrong, I've been agreeing with you but in a round about sort of way. Standing up for what you believe is never wrong, but in this case it wasn't going to get her anywhere anyway. She had sufficient grounds for a complaint when he refused to identify himself, she could have demanded a search form from him (which would have had his name on) and then sued him for assault or unlawful detention.
    She can still do the same thing, but she's had the added hassle of being thrown about a bit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    she's had the added hassle of being thrown about a bit.

    She's been assaulted.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sadly, though, we all know that the copper in question will get away with it scot-free. He'll keep his job, he'll keep his pension, he'll just get a few hours' remedial training and be free to batter more young women.

    Just look at that copper in Newcastle getting 3 years in prison for mowing down a teenager at 94mph in a 30mph zone. A teenager a year before got 4 years for texting whilst driving at a sensible speed and killing someone. Coppers always get shorter sentences.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    Coppers always get shorter sentences.


    Depends on who your friends are and depends what sort of support you've got from the force.

    I can imagine those who do sent down don't exactly relish the experience, there isn't any special prison for the police......
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