Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A freudian slip

The Government has finally released its proposed amendments to the Search and Surveillance Bill. Which has highlighted the bill's resurrection of "examination orders" which allow police to force suspects to answer questions, on pain of imprisonment. But Judith Collins assures us that the police will never abuse this power:

In response to the concerns of some groups, the 7-year threshold means that examination orders are not available to investigate such crimes as protesting, trespass, disorderly behaviour or unlawful assembly.
Firstly, it speaks volumes about Collins that she thinks "protesting" is a crime. And secondly, that's no protection at all; as we've seen, the police are perfectly willing to overcharge to send a message, reclassifying protest as "burglary" or "participation in an organised criminal group" in order to intimidate and silence. And they'll be perfectly willing to do so in the future. The only real protection against these powers is not to have them. That will be inconvenient for the police (who might have to do their fucking jobs and gather evidence, rather than just use the law to coerce confessions out of people), but it will be a lot safer for us.