fishing for trout with a line left unattended in the water. Depositing controlled waste without a licence. And anything else that a court considers to be sufficiently serious.
As they say,
Imagine then that you have made it easier for people to fish unfairly — perhaps by selling lures or bait. Imagine the police think you might be planning to sell wheelbarrows to fly-tippers in future.
The court will then be able to close down your business and your bank account, stop you going to work, ban you from using the phone or email, prevent you from meeting people, exclude you from your home or any other premises, stop you using any items and prevent you from travelling anywhere. And anything else the court considers appropriate for protecting the public.
‘No, no, of course we’d never use the law in that way,” I hear Ministers say, in an irritated manner. Quite possibly not, but the way these sweeping powers are drafted someone certanly could thus use them if he wanted to, without the necessity of involving a jury or proving anything other than some vague ‘involvement’ in criminal activities to the civil standard.
And giving government such sweeping and ill-defined powers does not seem to me a particularly wise thing to do.
The Telegraph have an audio interview with their Joshua Rozenberg here (mp3) that spells out the implications.
Technorati: Super ASBOs, Control Orders, Civil Liberties, UK, Trout Fishing, Fly Tipping