Campaign Statement

Netpol believes it is time to kettle police powers. You can sign up to support our Kettling the Powers of the Police campaign.

Statement

No matter how often or how powerfully concerns are raised about the disproportionate use of extensive police powers, little seems to change. Both ineffective reform and the promise that human rights laws alone can provide a realistic defence against oppressive policing of protest and of black and working class communities have failed to contain the police’s capacity to regulate and enforce public order in whatever way they see fit. It has also made little difference to the police’s unchecked influence on the rapid expansion of their powers by the state.

The time has come to fundamentally change the debate. Instead of just reacting to brutal kettling and arbitrary assault of protesters, new revelations about indiscriminate intelligence gathering or the latest evidence of misuse of stop and search, we need to start demanding that draconian police powers are abolished instead of reformed.

We therefore call upon lawyers, frontline groups, individuals with experiences of police misuse of their powers, activist and protest groups, bereaved families and deaths in custody campaigns to join us in calling for:

  • A new approach towards public protest that recognises its value as a positive and essential expression of the rights to freedom and assembly, rather than an inconvenient nuisance that must be vigorously contained
  • A moratorium on more and more laws and the unending expansion of greater police power.
  • The immediate closure of massive and secretive intelligence databases that serve only to criminalise minority communities and those who organise and participate in demonstrations
  • A wholesale reduction in the scope of public order law, that involves the abolition of numerous offences that are open to politically motivated exploitation
  • The withdrawal and disbanding of Forward Intelligence Teams responsible for routine and unrestrained surveillance and harassment of demonstrations
  • An end to all unaccountable anonymous briefings to the media that seek to misleadingly shape narratives favourable to the police
  • An end to the use of draconian bail conditions, including the refusal of bail, as a method of smothering the activities of protesters without the need to prove their ‘guilt’ of any crime.
  • An end to stop and search powers that are so evidently misused but have so little impact on genuinely preventing crime

Tackling the ‘worst of the worst’ won’t transform policing overnight, but it is a good start. We believe the system as it stands is out of control and we can either allow ourselves to continue to be kettled, or we can start kettling those who keep seeking to contain us.

Sign up to support Kettling the Powers of the Police.

2 Responses to “Campaign Statement”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Kettling the Powers of the Police « Netpol - 26/03/2012

    […] Campaign Statement […]

  2. Kettling the powers of the police – November policing « Netpol - 26/03/2012

    […] Campaign Statement […]

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