Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill arrives in Lords

Every time I have worked on a Bill since I arrived in the House of Lords nearly eight years ago, I have thought, “This is the worst Bill I have ever seen”, and every one is, but this is a stinker and it is quite obviously not going to help the police. If you produce a policing Bill and you cannot get former police chiefs, UN special rapporteurs, the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law on your side, something is wrong with it.

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Law Enforcement Agencies: Duty of Candour

The Report of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (HC 11), published on 15 June, recommended that there should be “a statutory duty of candour, to be owed by all law enforcement agencies to those whom they serve, subject to protection of national security and relevant data protection legislation”. The independent panel highlighted obstruction and a lack of co-operation by the Metropolitan Police that “placed its concern for its own reputation above the public interest.” Who do the Government believe should be held accountable for that misconduct? Continue reading “Law Enforcement Agencies: Duty of Candour”

Police must be open as well as honest

Today I ask whether the government will ensure that the police have a ‘duty of candour’.

One of the main recommendations that came out of the recent report on the murder of Daniel Morgan is that the police should have a “duty of candour”. It seems such a simple and inoffensive change to how the police conduct themselves, but it would generate a flow of fresh air and transparency through the suffocating fog of the UK’s policing culture. The Daniel Morgan case is the most documented example of institutional corruption within the police, but is only one of many going back over several decades.

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The Tories are planning an assault on democracy

I write for Left Foot Forward

Voter suppression, limiting protest on the streets by banning anything that might be effective, stopping people seeking justice in the courts when the government acts in a dictatorial way – the Queen’s Speech is clearly designed to help the Conservatives stay in power for many decades longer.

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5th Day of Debate on the Queen’s Speech

There are some important pieces of legislation tucked into the Speech, but I feel that those are the ones that will fall through the cracks and that we will probably not get around to. This is very distressing because it will be the most regressive laws that come through and that the Government support. This is really appealing to the darkest parts of human nature and it is not good for our collective psyche, not just here in the House but in the wider society. As such, I promise you strong and relentless opposition.

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Undercover Policing Inquiry – no access to Special Branch registry files

Baroness Clark of Kilwinning tabled an Oral Question to ask HMG what assessment they have made of the progress of the Undercover Policing Inquiry into police surveillance, established in 2015.

I said: My Lords, the chair of the inquiry has ruled that the Special Branch registry files, which could give more information about the work of undercover officers, will not be part of the inquiry. That means that the truth will be very filtered, which makes it hard for core participants, who feel that they will not get justice. Would the Minister agree to a meeting with me and perhaps a member of each of the opposition parties to discuss the major flaws in the inquiry and why the core participants are so upset?

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COVID 19 ONE YEAR ON – The unlawful, coercive and nasty parts of the Coronavirus Act must be repealed and a public inquiry launched

One year ago Parliament passed the biggest infringements to our rights and civil liberties that this country has ever witnessed. We were promised that there would be meaningful reviews of the provisions and that the Government would repeal anything that was not absolutely necessary and proportionate. A couple of days later, the Government published the real rules in the lockdown regulations, which imposed even tighter restrictions than were ever anticipated in the Coronavirus Act. Continue reading “COVID 19 ONE YEAR ON – The unlawful, coercive and nasty parts of the Coronavirus Act must be repealed and a public inquiry launched”

A hostile environment for migrants sanctions domestic abuse

When a survivor of domestic abuse reaches out for help, they should be treated as a human being and given the help that they need unconditionally. What is the Government’s priority? Do they care more about helping survivors of domestic abuse end that abuse and making them safe, or about catching and deporting migrants?

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