21 May 2009

The Police vs The Rule of Law

The circumstances and aftermath of the raid by Avon and Somerset Police on Jim Bates [1] should horrify anybody who sees any value in the Peelian Principles [2], as the actions of the police completely violate two of those principles:

• Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
• Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

I recommend that you read the whole Register article to get the full background, which is quite messy and convoluted, but the essence of the situation is:

• The police carried out a raid and seized a large amount of material from a man's home.
• The man claimed the raid was unlawful.
• The High Court agreed and ordered the police to return the seized material.
• The Chief Constable refused.

If we are in a position where a senior figure, whose duty is to uphold the law, feels that he can disregard the law and effectively steal another person's property if he disagrees with the judgement of the courts, then we've got an extremely serious problem.

1. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/18/bates_public_interest
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Peelian_Principles&oldid=285424607

1 comment:

AntiCitizenOne said...

We live not in a police state but in a ACPO state.