Friday, 17 April 2009

Ministers try to close stable door after RIPA horse has bolted

Today the Government kicks of a consultation about the use of RIPA surveillance powers - brought in some years ago.

The review is being headed by Notts MP and Police Minister Vernon Coaker and Local Government Minister John Healey.

Healey said: "These powers must be used in a way that commands the public’s confidence and should be used properly and proportionately."

Here's an idea. Why not decide who should have the powers and exactly how they should be used before bringing them in?

If the media hadn't exposed the misuse of RIPA I doubt ministers would have stepped in and voluntarily checked councils.

The ministers will write to council chiefs in a letter...

"use of covert surveillance powers to deal with minor offences such as dog fouling and littering, is not appropriate."

This is as close as we get to an admission that RIPA powers have been badly misused.

9 comments:

Richard T said...

Is this the same Vernon Coaker who issued the guidance about taking photographs which basically says the police can do whatever they want? Impressive.

In all this noise about RIPA, I think there is a regulatory agency which is supposed to control and monitor how RIPA is implemented. If so, where is it and what is it doing? If I was a suspicious and cynical observer, which I am not, I would think that all the Councils are operating precisely in line with RIPA but because of poor drafting the Government has got itself up excrement alley in a big way. Councils generally observe the law and it would be surprising if they were gereally outwith its provisions here.

Bent Society said...

Vernon Coaker is a thick laughing stock - same as his dumb boss Ms Smith. They are both sub-prime examples of the line-towing lap dogs that Labour employs as ministers because they have zero ideas of their own and are not a threat to their dim-witted leaders. Has this country ever had such a bunch of dunces in government?

Lobbydog said...

@ Richard T

I actually think you're right. The word "misuse" is oddly misleading. Laws can only be used in the way they are written. Again, any consultation to work out how to word RIPA should have been done properly years ago.
Perhaps all the various usses of this law that have been carried out were in fact forseen by ministers, but they just didn't think there would be such an outcry.

Oldrightie said...

In readiness for an election there will be a lot of stable doors being closed. Trouble is, as soon as they force one shut another pops open! Panicking as an election and wipeout looms.

Local chap said...

Shouldn't Vernon Coaker be concentrating on dealing with the numerous incidences of police violence at G20, including a number against journalists?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/apr/16/policing-g20-journalists

And how about the use of S14 POA to move journalists out of the way for half an hour so they can't reord the protesters getting a good kicking?

If he keeps on banging on about littering and wheelie bins in the media there's a terrible possibility that people will miss this stuff and we wouldn't want.....oh.

LD, did you ever get that interview with him? I thinks its worth going for a follow up.

Bent Society said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bent Society said...

Coaker will organise a Parliamentary seminar - invite people with brains - then steal their ideas and pretend he had them first. This is the MO he has employed to get where he is.. yes in this dumbed down UK it really is THAT simple.

He is so thick - yet sneaky and no threat due to his stupidity. This is how a dunce succeeds in a country led by duffers...such as Brown and Smith their inept ilk

subrosa said...

You don't surprise me Bent Society but seeing it in print brings it home.

Lobbydog said...

@local chap

"You've got the choice. Either go away now or spend the rest of the afternoon in a cell."

Unbeleivable. I think you're right, it's time for a follow up.

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