Today Liberty published its report on the policing of the TUC March for the Alternative. The human rights group concluded that the official demonstration was overwhelmingly peaceful, and that the Metropolitan Police’s response was on the whole proportionate. However, Liberty’s concern with the police’s constant focus on the practice of ‘kettling’ remains.
Today a YouGov poll, conducted on behalf of Liberty, suggested little public appetite for Government proposals for Police and Crime Commissioners. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which reaches its report stage today in the House of Commons, would abolish police authorities, replacing them with directly elected individuals who would oversee local police forces and hold Chief Constables to account – compromising the police’s political independence.
Today the Government announced a commission to investigate another British Bill of Rights. The commission will explore the idea of a Bill of Rights that ‘incorporates and builds on Britain’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights [and] ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in UK law’.
Today Liberty welcomed the Government’s draft Defamation Bill which will overhaul libel law in the UK. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke’s proposed reforms will help thwart unreasonable libel threats and support free speech while still allowing people to protect their reputations.
Today at Winchester Crown Court, an inquest found that murder victim Naomi Bryant was unlawfully killed due to an astounding series of public authority failings. Mother-of-one Naomi was killed by convicted sex offender Anthony Rice while he was on licence from prison in 2005.
On the eve of the Oscars, stars have lined up to condemn unsafe unfair control orders, which have been repackaged as Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (Tpim) by the Coalition. Academy award winners Emma Thompson and Annie Lennox joined with Honor Blackman, Simon Callow and Riz Ahmed to back Liberty’s campaign against Government proposals to continue the regime.
Today in a speech to Liberty, Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), called for undercover policing operations to be authorised in advance by a judge. Sir Hugh suggested the significant change to authorisation procedure as an aid to restoring public confidence.
The inquest into the death of Naomi Bryant – murdered in 2005 by convicted sex offender Anthony Rice – will begin Monday 31 January, after being abandoned in March 2010 when new information about public authorities’ knowledge of her killer was revealed.
Today the long-delayed publication of the Government’s Counter-Terrorism Review revealed that control orders will effectively be retained. When the review was announced in June last year, the Home Secretary publicly asked for Liberty’s contribution. The human rights group’s response explained the problems with the regime and offered alternatives.