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Politics/Current Affairs

ASBOs For The Untouchables

Saturday, January 20th, 2007 at 11:14 by Rhys Wilcox

Ministers have announced the introduction of a new, improved ASBO that is intended to be used on those ‘gangsters’ who manage to conduct illicit affairs without personally getting their hands dirty and hence are incredibly difficult to press charges against.

The Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO) isn’t quite as catchy as ‘ASBO’ but is intended to be administered to those seemingly untouchable individuals directly by the High Court without having to go through the inconvenience of due process, criminal court or trial by jury. You know, the usual judicial systems that have been set in place to prevent the corruption of justice and wrongful imprisonment.

Targeting the “Mr Bigs” of society’s underbelly, a SeCPO (?) can be issued if the High Court can be persuaded that it’s too tricky to arrest them for anything specific. Said SCriPO (?) could stop them from doing things that might (or might not) be criminally related: anything from barring them from dodgy nightclubs, talking to certain people or using a mobile phone. If they don’t adhere then they could face a proper prosecution.

It’s always these double-edged issues that slip through the moral filters on the back of doing something for the greater good. Just because they say, ‘These are only going to be used against top level gangsters,’ doesn’t mean that, one day, the rozzers might be knocking on your door, telling you that you can’t shop at Sainsburys any more and, ‘There’s nuffink you can do abaht it.’

Aside from the civil liberties issue, the other downside is that each sCRAPo (?) will cost ’someone’ around £40k a piece. Then, of course, because there is still a portion of justice left in the system, it can be appealed. At that stage said alleged King Pin can get himself Legal Aid which could cost ’someone’ another £40k. And then, probably, get off.

Doesn’t it just make you cry out for a return to the innocent, olden days when police could just plant evidence to ensure their collar or give the ‘guilty’ a quick ‘doing over’ if he got off.

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2 Comments on “ASBOs For The Untouchables”

  1. Sue Stewart Says:

    Taking the moral highground as always, I think SCPO is quite catchy, if you say it like C3PO.

    Ess-see-pee-oh/see-three-pee-oh - it could work.

    Unfortunately, it really could work, which is extremely worrying for anyone who doesn’t start every sentence with the words ‘ordinary, decent people’ before going on to advocate another erosion of a judicial system that used to be the envy of the world.

  2. Rhys Wilcox Says:

    With about 50% of issued ASBOs being ignored I see no reason why the Mr Bigs won’t find a way around these too. That’s why they attain these positions of notoriety, because they know how to exploit the system.

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