Bill threatens to make Isle of Man a police state’ – claims MLC

Interesting claim. Although as the police are already allowed to remove unlocked cars as a lesson to forgetful car owners, you have to ask if this is just a natural extension of their powers. I remember when we had a much smaller government and were pretty much left to ourselves, sigh… Ah, the good old days…

THE Isle of Man could become a police state if a new criminal justice bill goes ahead, warned David Callister MLC. The Department of Home Affairs has proposed a new Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2009 which would both improve existing laws and seek to introduce changes to enhance the criminal justice system.

Public views are now being sought on the new draft legislation. But Mr Callister said many of the clauses in the draft bill ‘border on the draconian’ and would ‘impact to the detriment of Manx life and make an enemy of the police’.

He said: ‘If this bill is passed in its present form it will become a precursor to the creation of a police state. The draft bill contains a number of highly controversial clauses. Several of these would allow the police to by-pass the judicial process.’ He explained: ‘It would allow the police to enter your home without a warrant, act as a censor of stage performances, of unclassified films and even internet images.

‘Public meetings could be disbanded, exhibits could be removed from art galleries (as has already happened in the UK) and, astonishingly, under-age children could be used to entrap shopkeepers.’ He added: ‘The provisions in the draft bill even extend to who may, and who may not, provide food between the hours of midnight and 5am and it would give a constable (police officer) the power to prevent an individual from drinking in any public place on the Island (at present this is limited to designated areas).

‘The DHA is even considering introducing legislation to control such websites as Facebook.’

Full story here.