Now happy hour ends with 'martial law'
By David Bamber
June 19, 2005
Ministers have ordered the Army on to the
streets to join an all-out summer campaign against anti-social
drunken and violent behaviour by yobs [Youths On Break?]. Military
police and ordinary uniformed soldiers will help keep youths under control
in up to 20 towns and cities near military barracks.
strategy comes as police forces in more than 230 towns and cities begin
a clampdown on disorderly behaviour by alcohol-fuelled youngsters, in
response to a Home Office survey showing a disturbing rise in youth crime.
Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, has asked the Ministry
of Defence to support police forces around the country after an experiment
in Royston, Hertfordshire, where uniformed Redcaps - military police -
were deployed to crack down on late-night violence by drunken yobs. As
well as dealing with off-duty soldiers from a nearby base, they targeted
civilians in the non-garrison town.
Police deal with a drunken girl
More than 230 locations have been listed for special police measures
Their patrols were judged a success and the Redcaps are
now seen regularly on the streets, alongside Hertfordshire beat police,
in the small market town, where local officers have welcomed them. One
officer said that although the military police are armed only with a baton
similar to that used by ordinary police, their uniforms and military training
deter antics from getting out of hand.
Until this experiment, military police, who have
the same powers of arrest as ordinary police officers, have patrolled
only in major military centres such as Aldershot, Colchester and Catterick.
Now regular patrols will begin in towns and cities near military bases.
A spokesman for Liberty, the civil rights organisation,
expressed concern. She said: "Until now the Armed Forces have only
been used on the streets of Northern Ireland in recent years and we need
to be very careful about using them on the mainland in peacetime."
A senior Ministry of Defence official said: "We do
not expect hundreds of troops on the streets but we would think the very
presence of unarmed troops will deter bad behaviour."
More than 230 towns and cities including Blackpool, Brighton,
Manchester, Birmingham and several London boroughs, have been listed for
special police measures this summer. Extra police and civilian police
assistants will be drafted in on Friday and Saturday nights as part of
a zero-tolerance crackdown against drug-taking, under-age drinking and
alcohol- related violence.
In some areas curfews will be imposed, allowing police to
clear groups of youths from the street after 9pm. "Curfew
zones" will be introduced, from which police may ban individuals
for up to 24 hours using an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo). Anyone
who breaches such an order faces a fine of up to £2,500 and a jail
The measures were prompted by a wave of violent incidents
involving teenage gangs including the "happy slapping" craze,
where teenagers attack their victim and film the assault on a mobile phone.
In May, Tony Blair promised to curb anti-social behaviour and promote
a culture of "respect".
The Sunday Telegraph has learned, however, that the next
set of crime figures, to be released in September, will show that anti-social
behaviour has not declined, despite attempts by some towns to deploy "yob-busting"
teams. More young people complain of being victims of crime.
A Home Office spokesman said: "We want to ensure that
people can go about their business without any problems and the Hertfordshire
police and Army link up has provided a useful lesson."
David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, said: "Bringing
in the Army in a few small towns is just a gimmick. It will not solve
the problem of yob culture.
"This shows Mr Blair's desperation. He has failed to
get a culture of respect from mobs. He should concentrate on the causes
of crime, not headline-grabbing ideas."
Lord Lucas Discusses The Civil Contingencies
Bill And Its Threat To UK Democracy
18 min 37 sec
Real Player Broadband audio interview
Click for Real
Audio 56k (http://www.thoughtcrimenews.com/LucasCivilContingenciesReal56k.htm) Windows
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By Simon Aronowitz
20th September 2004
Lord Lucas stated in the interview that there would be insufficient
time to achieve a 2/3 majority vote in the House of Commons, hence his
willingness to accept a 50% vote to carry a state of emergency. However,
it should be noted that if half of the MPs can be gathered together to
affirm a state of emergency, then little extra effort is required to get
2/3 of MPs together. This measure would reduce the chances of the party
in power with a large majority (like New Labour at the moment) pushing
through a state of emergency.
For a government that had no qualms about defying public
opinion and evidence with its march to war in Iraq, we must all ask ourselves
if we can trust Parliament with the Civil Contingencies Bill. The power
it already possesses has been abused with the recent military excursions
- how can we expect them NOT to abuse any new powers?
(1) Justifications for declaring an Emergency. Only an actual
disaster should be grounds for declaring an Emergency. And “disaster”
means a real disaster, and one that occurs within the UK.
(2) Powers granted.
No suspension of democracy.
No suspension of Parliament. No suspension of Civil Liberties.
(3) Coalition Government. No single party dictatorship.
(4) Parliamentary Approval of the emergency by two-third
You can quickly send an email to potentially sympathetic
Peers and other public figures. Simply copy the some or all of the list
of email addresses below into the "To" box of your email programme,
write your email and send. That's it.
Be sure to voice your deep concerns over the Civil Contingencies
Bill and mention the proposed amendments. Make some noise!
Email address list of British Parliamentarians
[Note: Your email software may take some time sending the
email if the whole address list is used}
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