Councils and anti-terror laws…..
This is one of the subtle manifestations of the damage that counter-terrorism legislation does to civil liberties. Sir Christopher Rose has produced a report which warns about the way anti terror legislation is used by local authorities for the purposes of “direct surveillance” including the bugging of public places and the taking of photographs of suspected criminals.
Sir Christopher blames;
“a continuing failure on the part of authorising officers properly to demonstrate that less intrusive methods have been considered and why they have been discounted in favour of the tactic selected”.
You can’t help the old saying about giving an inch and taking a yard applies here and that authorising officers obviously do not have as their remit the protection of civil liberties. The fact that the legislation exists and the culture of the government tilts against this being their remit and the only way this is going to change is a fundemental audit of all the legislation (in which i would imagine a good 3/4 would be junked) is the only way to combat this.
However, I would be shocked to hear any mainstream politician say this for fear of appearing to be ‘soft on terrorism’. Reclaiming our civil liberties is not just about scrapping ID cards or any other eye-catching scheme but a through review and repeal of the whole ‘anti-terror’ apparatus that has been put in place and this is something we should be bold and radical and say out loud.