Skating towards a police state…

August 3rd, 2007

Richard Littlejohn

Fancy a pair of those newfangled motorised roller skates? Careful, you could end up being branded a potential serial killer and forced to hand over your DNA.

Police chiefs want the power to take samples from people committing even the most trivial offences.

And where the first motorised roller skates go, the first motorised roller skates breath test will surely follow.

After all, the Old Bill have already breathtested one man using a child’s scooter with a strimmer engine attached and another riding a skateboard.

But you won’t have to be skating under the influence to be catapulted to the top of the “Most Wanted” list. You’d be breaking the law simply by using the skates.

Senior policemen and the Crown Prosecution Service agree that would be enough to justify you being forced to give a DNA sample on the spot.

Currently, they’re only allowed to take swabs from those convicted of crimes which carry a jail term.

According to one of the supporters of the scheme, Inspector Thomas Huntley, of the Ministry of Defence Police, failing to take a sample ‘could be seen as giving the impression that an individual who commits a non-recordable offence could not be a repeat offender.

“While the increase of suspects on the database will lead to an increased cost, this should be considered preferable to letting a serious offender walk free from custody.”

We’re not just talking reckless endangerment with a pair of turbo-charged roller skates, either. What they mean by ‘non-recordable’ encompasses anything from ignoring a stop sign or not wearing a seat belt to dropping litter or letting your dog foul the pavement.

HOW are the police supposed to know that the little old lady allowing her poodle to poop in a public place won’t go on to commit another Dunblane massacre? Or that the spotty youth casually dropping a KitKat wrapper in the gutter may not be the next Yorkshire Ripper.

You never can tell. Better to be safe than sorry. Open wide.

The step from not wearing a seat belt, or running a red light, to mass murderer may be a small one in the tiny mind of someone like the impertinent Inspector Huntley.

But it’s a giant leap in terms of liberty and the presumption of innocence.

What was that phrase again? We can’t be certain that someone could not be a repeat offender.

Of course we can’t. But our system of justice is based upon a person being innocent until proven guilty.

We don’t lock up shoplifters for life on the grounds that they might one day rob a bank. Nor should we be taking

DNA swabs from those guilty of piffling offences, just in case.

And while convictions for relatively minor offences are wiped clean under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, your DNA sample is for ever.

This is an attempt to establish a comprehensive national biometric database by stealth, because they know we would never agree to it voluntarily, just as the new passport regime is a way of bringing in ID cards by the back door.

How many politicians would be prepared to stand for election on a commitment: “Vote for me and if you forget to fasten your seat belt you will be forced to hand over a DNA sample”?

It’s monstrous, but it’s par for the course these days.

How many people voted for the thousands of new “criminal” offences brought in over the past few years?

How many of these exciting new crimes were brought in after a ‘consultation’ exercise, rather than a proper debate and vote in Parliament?

How many times have I written about this Government’s sinister determination to criminalise as many people as possible and pretend that a middle-class motorist doing a few miles an hour above the limit on a deserted motorway is just as much a villain as an inner-city mugger?

That’s what’s happening again in this case. It’s all in line with Labour’s love of surveillance and snooping and treating us all like criminals.

No one voted for officials to be given the power to come into our homes to prod our roof insulation and measure our conservatories, to use satellites to assess the size of our gardens for taxation purposes, or to rip open our bin-liners to check for the “wrong” kind of rubbish.

No one voted for the millions of CCTV and speed cameras on every street corner, or for the increasingly intrusive amount of personal information demanded even to get a bus pass.

There are already four million people on the DNA database – including one million who have never been convicted of any crime.

Curious how a government in thrall to “yuman rites” has such contempt for the right to privacy.

We already live in a punishment culture and we’re getting perilously close to a full-blown police state.

If we don’t want to wake up one day and wonder where the last of our liberties went, it’s time to get our skates on.


Daily Mail

You know its ‘Game Over’ when you agree with people like Litlejohn!

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