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Familes threatened with fine for parking in their driveways

Council threatens families with a £1,000 fine… for parking on their own driveways

Daily Mail
September 10, 2008

Furious residents have been left stunned after a council threatened to fine them £1,000 – for parking on their own driveways.

Homeowners in a quiet village have been told they have the wrong type of kerbs, despite having driven over them for the 50 years since the properties were built.

Councillors are using a law passed 30 years ago to stop them from parking beside their own homes.

But residents each face a £1,200 bill if they install ‘dropped kerbs’ that allow easier access to their driveways.

The council threat came in a letter delivered to 12 houses on Pinfold Street, a quiet road with smart semi-detached houses worth around £200,000 in Eastrington, East Yorkshire.

The properties were built between 1949 and 1952. Some were built with driveways and others were added years later.

Two of the houses are council-owned, but they still received the letter – including baffled Ken Laverack, whose drive was built by the council 20 years ago after the 1980 Highways Act was introduced.

Retired Ken, 61, said: ‘I just couldn’t believe it when the letter arrived.

‘The council themselves put my drive in 20 years ago and now they’re saying I can’t use it. It’s absolutely ridiculous, my car is just on the road now.

Read Full Article Here

 

Anti-terrorism laws used to spy on noisy children

Chris Hastings
London Telegraph
September 7, 2008

Councils are using anti-terrorism laws to spy on residents and tackle barking dogs and noisy children.

An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph found that three quarters of local authorities have used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 over the past year.

The Act gives councils the right to place residents and businesses under surveillance, trace telephone and email accounts and even send staff on undercover missions.

The findings alarmed civil liberties campaigners. Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, said: “Councils do a grave disservice to professional policing by using serious surveillance against litterbugs instead of terrorists.”

The RIPA was introduced to help fight terrorism and crime. But a series of extensions, first authorised by David Blunkett in 2003, mean that Britain’s 474 councils can use the law to tackle minor misdemeanours.

Councils are using the Act to tackle dog fouling, the unauthorised sale of pizzas and the abuse of the blue badge scheme for disabled drivers.

Among 115 councils that responded to a Freedom of Information request, 89 admitted that they had instigated investigations under the Act. The 82 councils that provided figures said that they authorised or carried out a total of 867 RIPA investigations during the year to August

Read Full Article Here

 

UK: Civilians Given Power To Issue Fines

London Telegraph
August 28, 2008

Despite lacking formal police training, hundreds of civilians have been made part of the “extended police family” by the Home Office under little-known legislation.

They have not been asked to wear any special uniforms to identify themselves, but must wear only a badge that can be as small as 73mm x 80mm.

The disclosure that hundreds of civilians have been given enforcement powers drew accusations that the Government is encouraging the spread of unaccountable policing.

The Home Office revealed yesterday that more than 1,600 non-police officers have been given enforcement powers under its so-called Community Safety Accreditation Schemes.

The schemes, introduced in 2002 legislation, give chief constables the power to serve penalty notices for activities including disorder, truancy, cycling on pavements, littering and dog fouling. They can also be used for seizing alcohol from under-age drinkers and to demand people’s names and addresses.

The Home Office has carried out an audit of police use of the powers which showed that 23 police forces have Community Safety Accreditation Schemes in place.

A total of 1,406 staff from 95 “approved organizations” including local councils and private companies have been given enforcement powers.

Another 255 people have been given powers as Vehicle Operator Services Agency Inspectors, who are issued with the single power to stop vehicles for the purpose of testing.

In 2006, there were only 950 accredited workers for 71 organisations.

Dominic Grieve, the Conservative shadow home secretary, said the scheme was the latest example of the unjustified extension of surveillance powers under Labour.

He said: “The public will be angered that the Home Office is seeking to take serious powers that should be appropriately applied by the police and encouraging them to be given not just to local councils, but also to private firms.

“The public want to see real police on the streets discharging these responsibilities, not private firms who may use them inappropriately – including unnecessarily snooping on the lives of ordinary citizens.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Community Safety Accreditation Schemes enable Chief Constables to designate limited powers to employees of organisations who contribute towards community safety.

“CSAS supports Neighbourhood Policing by building links, improving communications and helping in the delivery of effective policing to neighbourhoods. Accredited Persons have a key role to play in the delivery of Neighbourhood Policing and are an important part of the extended police family.”

 

RNC protester yells “i love you” while assaulted, peppersprayed by police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Xs13NhSq4

DNA Testing Expands to Lesser Crimes
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-..R2008090702340.html

Now it’s the citizen snoopers: Councils recruit unpaid volunteers to spy on their neighbours
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-..ecruit-unpaid-volunteers-spy-neighbours.html

Police Using G.P.S. Units as Evidence in Crimes
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/us/31gps.html

Jacqui Smith’s ‘Stasi’: Now even more council jobsworths can demand your details and issue fines
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1..e–parking-driveways.html

No Bike Helmet? Police To Steal Your Bike
http://www.boston.com/news/local/../no_bike_helmet_lose_your_wheels/

Police sergeant resigns over excessive force (with VIDEO)
http://mparent7777-1.livejournal.com/1509622.html

UK: Fines For Placing Garbage In Wrong Bin
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknew..utting-wrong-waste-in-green-bins.html

Texas state troopers direct policing in Canada
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-../08/28/bc-rcmp-texas-troopers.html

French revolt over Edvige: Nicolas Sarkozy’s Big Brother spy computer
http://jimbovard.com/blog/2008/08/27/tsa-federal-attitude-police/

TSA agents can slap fines on Americans based on “attitude”
http://jimbovard.com/blog/2008/08/27/tsa-federal-attitude-police/

Police plan ’supermarket cells’ to hold shoplifters and drunks
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopi..o-hold-shoplifters-and-drunks.html

 


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