Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
If you approve of 'positional' searches (stopping cars in Westminster, the airport regions, near defence bases) then why not search houses located in similar scenarios? Once you've got that precedent established, why not then move on to searching houses in blighted areas where terrorists 'are likely to live.' And then you can search everyone (and their houses) in areas 'where drugs are a concern.' Then you can move onto searching all the houses in the whole country because after all, crime in general is a concern, and the precedent for 'preventative policing' is already established.Jonathan Pearce at Samizdata provoked that comment with his post on being searched at random in London:
Random searches of Britons going about their business are now established features of life in this country. The old refrain - "It could not happen here", no longer applies. On Saturday, while driving along the side of the Thames towards Westminster, passing by the Tate Gallery, I was flagged down by a policeman.Indeed, why not your house? The "needs" of the community take precedence...
Officer: "Could you show me your driving licence? This is a section 41 search" (at least I think that is what he said).
Me: "Section 41 or whatever of what?"
Officer: "The Terrorism Act"
Me: "Why have you pulled me and my wife over?"
Officer: "We are doing searches of vehicles in the area."
Me: "Well obviously you are. Is this a random thing?"
Officer: "Yes. Please hand over your driving licence and we want to search the car."