Area Curfews!

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HOME Secretary Theresa May yesterday announced plans for a National Crime Agency, training more riot police and area curfews.

In a speech to an audience of journalists, police chiefs, and rank and file police representatives she said that ‘when faced with an unprecedented situation, the immediate police response was not enough.’

She said: ‘We are establishing for the first time a Strategic Policing Requirement. This will require local chief officers to have regard to national threats, as set out by the Home Secretary, and the need to maintain a national policing capability to meet those threats.

‘It is also why we will establish a National Crime Agency, an operational crime-fighting body, charged with taking on serious and organised crime, economic crime, border policing and child protection.’

May added: ‘I have written to Sir Denis O’Connor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, and asked him to provide clearer information to forces about the size of deployments, the need for mutual aid, pre-emptive action, public order tactics, the number of officers trained in public order policing, and an appropriate arrests policy.’

She said: ‘Last week, dispersal orders, which allow the police to move young people away from specific places, were used to good effect. . .

‘We have already said that we will give the police new powers, including new gang injunctions for young people and the right to remove face coverings, as well as considering new curfew powers.

‘For example, under existing laws, there is no power to impose a general curfew in a particular area, and while curfew conditions can be placed on some offenders as part of their ASBO, criminal sentence or bail conditions, there are only limited powers to impose them on somebody under the age of sixteen. Those are the sorts of changes we need to consider.’

Asked to clarify her curfew plans, May said: ‘There are two issues. One is the availability of curfew powers in relation to individuals who are under the age of 16.

‘The other is, at the moment, the curfew powers are specific in terms of individuals and attached to individuals.

‘Whether more general powers are needed, there are the dispersal order powers, but we need to look at dispersal order powers as well because those do require an upfront designation of a geographical area.’