Reply to post: Re: Duhfish So when the police break the law, it's called 'being reckless'.

IOCCO: Police 'reckless' for using terrorism powers on journo sources


Re: Duhfish So when the police break the law, it's called 'being reckless'.

Up vote for you Matt.

Wait, what!?

But he's right people - the police didn't break the law.


Now, that's where Matt and I may disagree but arguing this issue based on an assertion that police have broken the law is unhelpful as it's so easy to refute: no, they haven't.

The problem is that the laws, as written, provide such sweeping latitude to law enforcement that they can pretty much do whatever the hell they want. And we know, from experience, that even when they are found out, the hierarchy nearly always backs the officers to the hilt. As do politicians.

The point is that, while the majority of police officers and good, upstanding people, you simply CANNOT trust them as a whole because the vast power they are given means that it only takes one to thoroughly impact someone's life. And, unfortunately, you most definitely cannot trust the police force to, well, police itself either so there is next-to no deterrent for those officers who do decide to abuse their powers in this way.

The only way - the only way - to ensure that these laws are not misused is to write the laws to specifically restrict what is and is not allowed and under what circumstances and with what authorisation and to clearly lay down that actions that fall outside of those specific criteria are breaches of the law.

Of course, you can't really stop misuse completely but strict, clear laws with well-defined terms will go a long way.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021