On the suggestion of Jason (thanks) we’ve made a FOIA request on the WhatDoTheyKnow.com website. The first interesting point is that SOCA is not subject to FOIA and therefore will not process FOIA requests. Under Regulation 4 of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), environmental information relevant to the functions of the Security Services, which does not adversely affect national security can be requested.
Apparently, it is SOCA policy to make non-operational information available on the SOCA website, in the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act. SOCA website have undertaken to take into account suggestions for additions to their website. You can only request information about the environment from this authority.
Never ones to say never, we’ve made a request anyway which you can follow here. The text of the request is:
Dear Serious and Organised Crime Agency,
PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002 (POCA)
Please provide information on numbers of central government, local government, senior civil servants and others employed by government related departments who have been subjected to POCA.
Please provide information on numbers of Members of Parliament who have had POCA applied to them.
Please provide information on numbers of members of the House of Lords who have had POCA applied to them.
Please provide information on numbers of members of the general population who have had POCA applied to them.
We understand that no information that may affect national security can be requested and believe that the information is demographic in nature and relevant to environmental issues. No information on specifics are required just simply number of POCA processes enacted against the above cross section of the
The Telegraph reports on the Condem’s latest initiative to remove our civil liberties – where did this little gem spring from? A new database to be introduced next week that holds the details of 15 million people (a quarter of the population of Britain) must have taken some effort to fund, organise, purchase, develop, install and ‘test’ – so where’s the white paper on this? Included are the details of around 6 million innocent people and victims of crime so it’s not a great leap of the imagination to see a database that contains details on everyone.
Apparently more than 12,000 ‘approved’ people will have access to this database and bollocks to anyone who says “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”. With so many new laws introduced by Labour it is only a matter of time before everyone breaks one law or another which will warrant them being included in the ever growing database until every man, woman and child will be included as a matter of course and the abandoned ID register will suddenly be in place with ID cards being compulsory for those with a criminal record, perhaps a blue one for those who are not guilty of any crime but you will have to carry it to show to any uniform that has the power to stop you to prove that you have no criminal record – what a clever government.
We know of someone who works in Westminster who has been interviewed four times by her local council housing office because there is a “flag” against the address although they have no idea why – this is the result of the database mentality (it must be right cos the ‘puter sez so) which will have some jobs-worth going along every 3 months because the database says they should although they don’t know what they are looking to achieve and can’t possibly gain any results from this waste of time.
This is a real life example of that reliance on computers does to the brain and the size of this proposed database (a Condem initiative despite slamming a similar Labour idea) will mean that there will be considerable errors which will never be corrected and while will – over time – change the perspective of the data it supposedly represents.
The events of 9/11 and 7/7 gave both the US and UK governments exactly the excuse they needed to implement their ‘terror’ legislation and to slowly erode our civil liberties – a freedom lost is never regained; there are always unintended consequences to legislation but there appear to be no efforts to deal with those consequences but only compound them but never to the advantage of the individual and always to the advantage of the ‘state’.
This creeping abuse of powers has been going on for a lot longer than people realise and most fail to comprehend the extent to which their rights and safeguards under law are being systematically removed – this is nothing short of tyranny.
Nick Clegg, the deputy PM created his website called “Your Freedoms” and called for the people to suggest which laws should be looked at or repealed. When the website closed down, the suggestions made there were thrown away and despite writing to his office to find out what was happening to the suggestions, there was no definitive answer.
The ConDems made much of the thousands of new laws that Labour enacted while in power; the thousands of new ways that money could be generated through the courts to swell the coffers of the government.
No laws have been repealed, no action taken so there are thousands of people turning to legal aid assistance to fight frivolous cased in courts and so the bill goes up.
Repeal some laws, restore some balance and the legal aid bill will go down as a result; do we really need money spent by councils on bin inspectors and do we really need to burden the courts with frivolous litigation to fine old Mrs Jones for putting a baked bean tin in her waste bin?
The burdens are imposed by the government and local councils, they should be the ones to sort out the problem, reduce the number of laws that have painted the people of this country into an ever smaller corner to the point that you can’t take a breath without fracturing some law, statute or governance.
No one likes ambulance chasing lawyers – in fact, it’s doubtful whether many people have a good word for an industry that benefits from other peoples misery but these plans make it even more difficult for those without money to have any equality under law which is, of course, contrary to the Human Rights Act.
Our maritime law justice system flaunts the common law system that was originally set up to protect the ‘people’ – those laws still exist but the courts pretend they don’t and call your sanity into question if you raise common law in their courts. It is doubtful that judges confirm their oath on a daily basis as they are bound to do and abandon ship when challenged.
The so-called justice system depends on peoples ignorance to rail-road them into compliance; the previous Labour regime enacted thousands of new laws to further bury common law under an avalanche of statutes that even the Law Society could not keep pace with.
These new plans seek to further deny individuals access to justice and with the government seeking to do away with the human rights legislation (as controversial as it may be) the inevitable consequence is that the people of this country will find themselves falling foul of the law and having no way in which to protect themselves or to argue their case.
Kenneth Clarke, the so-called ‘justice’ minister has announced cuts that will further deny people of this country from ever proving their innocence in an effort to save money yet government departments such as the DWP have access to the entire public purse in pursuit of any allegations they make – so they can spend your money to criminalise you but you can’t defend yourself in the same way – clever.
Ambulance chasing lawyers may be an unsavoury breed but at least they provide a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves.
The UK criminal justice system is a sham; it provides justice only for those who have the money to pay for it and no one cares if Mr or Mrs Average are swept aside by a corrupt and unfair system.
There is widespread condemnation of the European Court of Human Rights but when that is all that stands between an individual and a corrupt government filled with corrupt and incompetent civil servants who have no interest in justice but only in procedure then we must embrace this with open arms.
Our government is proposing a new ‘Bill of Rights’ to replace human rights legislation because innocent people are turning to existing legislation as their only hope for some justice – do we really want corrupt politicians drafting new legislation for our protection … absolutely not. If Nick Clegg can ensure that legislation drafted by parliament does not affect his off-shore interests then this government cannot be entrusted to create a system upon which people will have to depend for justice.
Democracy is again under attack from within – we have more to fear from our own government that we do from the likes of so-called terrorists.
Instead of reigning in expenses and saving the public-purse some money, the House of Lords expenses system has shown an increase in expenses paid to the peers in the first three months of implementation to a whopping £6million – that compares to £4.5million in the same period the previous year.
Peers such as Lord Taylor of Warwich and Lord Hanningfield have been found guilty of cheating on their expense claims and have been convicted of fraud – neither of them have had the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) applied to them and although they have been order to repay thousands of pounds back, they have held on to their homes and their lives while less fortunates have to deal with a complete and utter destruction of their lives at the hands of the government departments such as the DWP.
While ordinary people are being crippled by the use of terrorist legislation used inappropriately, MPs, council officers, civil servants and even the expenses watchdog are getting away with spending tax-payers money for personal items and for personal gain – the inequity is staggering.
Because government departments are so corrupt and incompetent, they are using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 as a ‘catch all’ for allegations of fraud. When those allegations turn out to be spurious and nonsensical, they care nothing for the damage that has been done to the victims of POCA.
Families are being torn apart, businesses are closed down on a whim, people are being put out on the streets and the law does nothing to protect them from misfeasance and false allegations. Due to the number of successful awards being made the Law Lords have recently put into place amendments to POCA which prevent victims from claiming compensation for the loss they suffer as a result of governmental incompetence.
POCA HAS NO PLACE IN A DEMOCRACY – IT UNDERMINES THE VERY FOUNDATION OF DEMOCRACY, COMMON LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS.