That will drive up GMP a couple of notches, then. We need things like this to keep the nation going in hard times.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the publicly-funded private company that wields heavy influence over policing policy, will be included in the Freedom of Information Act from October next year. The Ministry of Justice's announcement today follows criticism of ACPO's lack of accountability despite its powerful …
Especially since they sent me a flyer telling me that I should be scared of terrorist handymen & pest controllers:
According to Sir Hugh Orde:
"We are more than happy to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Of course, most of our information is owned by chief constables anyway so it is absolutely retrievable..."
Of course, it possible (probable) that Sir Hugh Orde was telling MPs what they wanted to hear, and would then make up every reason under the sun to ignore the requests.
> Justice minister Michael Wills said: "ACPO's functions are concerned with providing leadership for the police force, improving policing, acting as a voice for the force, encouraging high standards of performance and development, providing the strategic police response in times of national need and other ancillary and related functions."
And the functions of the ministers in charge of the Home Office and MiniJust are....? Right: to ply for trade as metaphorical hackney carriages.
Sure, they have a year to shred stuff. I'm sure they will. The point is that after that year, activities on issues like public photography, inappropriate stop 'n' search, DNA databases etc will open to examination. That transparency will force a change in ongoing police behaviour. No, it won't cause the past transgressors to be punished. If you required that, then this step would not have possible politically. Kudos the senior cops; they are trying to get an accountable structure in place which will force the politicians (government and police) who insist, behind the scenes, in all this invasive policing to become visible.
... The secretary of state has yet to make a SINGLE decision on non-gov org coverage in FOI.
This is despite the FOI laws explicitly allowing such coverage for any organisation performing govt work under contract, where the govt would be expected to do the job if they didn't exist or if they claim to perform a regulatory function *AHEM*ASA*AHEM*ICSTIS*AHEM*
It now comes down to the government having to explicitly add ACPO and others into the FOI because the Home Office won't do their job?
FWIW I've asked for decisions on several occasions and been completely stonewalled with silence - even after having established a correspondence trail and received replies up to that point.
...I'll believe the positive effects of this initiative when I see them, and not before. The ACPO are masters of avoidance, delay, and obfuscation on anything that isn't in their own interests.
A first move under these regulations might be to get the whole crew out of their Freemasons' Lodges and Old Boys' Clubs where so much policy is made - often in company with people whose unsavoury influence has little to do with public interest.
As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, I don't think it's going to far to say that certain elements of the govt and police forces are now a far bigger threat to our democracy than any number of terrorists.
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