Police powers and duties to be fixed by law

My suggested clause for the constitution is:

'The powers and responsibilities of the Police Forces and all other public law enforcement agencies must be fixed in law by Parliament.'

edited on Apr 10, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


Andrew Cullyer Apr 7, 2015

This is already so PACE etc are we sure we need this level of protection? 

Ian Smith Apr 7, 2015

Hi Andrew,

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act is concerned with evidence and procedures for the protection of suspects, detainees and accused persons.  It is not an overarching law on police powers and responsibilities, which are codified in the Police Act.  But even the latter does not (I think - and I hope will be corrected if I am wrong) provide for responsibilities such as to save lives and that is currently left to the common law.

The real point of my idea is that Police Powers and Responsibilities are too important to be left to a mish-mash of statutes and common law and so the constitution should mandate that the state must legislate on all of their powers and responsibilities.  They are also so important that we should discount the possibility that they can be re-regulated and privatised.

This does not mean that the constitution should go into the detail of what those powers and responsibilities should be.

Kind regards,


Andrew Cullyer Apr 14, 2015

Thank you, +1