POLICE are to have blanket arrest and covert operations powers of a type that will make tinpot dictatorships throughout the world green with envy, but which will, without a doubt, evoke a most decisive revolutionary response from the British working class.
Under the Serious and Organised Crime Act, the police will be able to arrest people for the most minor offences, in fact for every offence, and also to take DNA samples off them, covertly, without their knowledge, as well as casts of footprints, fingerprints, or other evidence of physical attributes obtained by covertly acquired digital photographs or videos.
The Home Office is stressing that covertly acquired material will not be allowed into court as evidence, but of course the more enterprising police officer will decide that planting DNA and other substances covertly acquired is the best, quickest and indeed the only way of securing both convictions and promotion.
From January 1, young people and ordinary citizens will have to be on their guard, since ‘offences’ such as dropping litter, being a public nuisance, fly posting, painting graffiti or being suspected of being under 18 and carrying fireworks could see them arrested, put in handcuffs and placed in a cell, before they are given a fixed penalty fine or notice that they will be appearing before the courts.
Once before the courts, the police can tell the judiciary that they suspect the prisoner has swallowed drugs, and using this new Act the court can then place the suspect into police detention for a further 12 days.
Currently, officers can only arrest people suspected of committing crimes with at least a five-year jail sentence. From next Sunday the police will be filling their cells with people arrested for the most minor misdemeanours.
Under the Act all those arrested can be given drug tests before they are charged with any offence, while non-police forces such as Community Support Officers will get powers to detain people and search them.
The scope of search warrants will cover not just a specific property, but will focus on a person and cover all the premises occupied or controlled or accessible to the person. For added convenience the warrants will be virtually indefinite and will be obtained speedily by fax or e-mail.
Home Office minister Hazel Blears says the aim of the new laws is to modernise and simplify police powers. In fact, Britain will be turned into an openly dictatorial capitalist police state, with the state attempting to coerce and intimidate the masses of the youth and the working class.
However, these measures and this Act, which seek to terrify, are actually the response of a government that is itself terrified. What is frightening it is that the vast majority of the people, and in particular the working class and the youth, reject the main Blairite policy which can be summed up as the destruction of the Welfare State, and are determined to defend their wages, jobs, pensions, retirement age and basic rights.
The British working class will not tolerate a continental despotism and they will rise up and overthrow it. For our part, we tell the working class that this police state Act is a product of the crisis of capitalism, and the bourgeois need to force the working class to pay the full price for it.
The complete answer to this crisis is to join the WRP and the Young Socialists and to organise the British socialist revolution.
This will strike a massive blow for freedom by smashing the capitalist state and disbanding its police forces, standing army and judiciary, to bring in a workers’ state that will defend the basic rights and interests of the working class.