Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UK to give curfew power to police

Source: Press TV

British Home Secretary Theresa May has announced new measures including curfew powers for police to be considered in the wake of the last week unrest.

The new measures also include the permission to provide tools police may need to deal with future problems and a clear guidance that should be given to police officers on public order policing, according to the Home Secretary.

"Under existing laws, there is no power to impose a general curfew in a particular area, and, while curfew conditions can be placed on some offenders as part of their Asbo, criminal sentence or bail conditions, there are only limited powers to impose them on somebody under the age of 16," May said.

"These are the sort of changes we need to consider," she added.

This is while the Home Secretary rejected calls to review the government's 20 percent cuts to police budgets.

"I am clear that, even at the end of this spending period, forces will still have the resources to deploy officers in the same numbers we have seen in the last week," May further said.

"It's clear to me that we can improve the visibility and availability of the police to the public. It's more important than ever that we do so, because we are asking the police to fight crime on a tighter budget," she pointed out.

When asked about the new curfew powers, May said, "In relation to the curfew issue, it's something that we're going to look at to address whether, and to what extent, we may need to change the law.

"There are two issues. One is the availability of curfew powers in relation to individuals who are under the age of 16. And the other is whether... At the moment the curfew powers are specific in terms of individuals and attached to individuals and it's whether more general powers are needed,” added the Home Secretary.

Labour leader Ed Miliband criticised the Home Secretary's plan to press on with police cuts, saying it left him "very worried".

He spoke during a visit to Bristol, where he met local politicians and community figures in the St Pauls area, the scene of unrest and looting last week.

"It is right that we learn lessons from the policing of the riots, but the most important thing the government can do is learn lessons itself," he said.

"The lesson the public wants them to learn is that visible effective policing increases public confidence and increases safety on our streets. That is why they should rethink their police cuts," Miliband added.

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