Growing numbers of people are being turned down for jobs and university places because they accepted police cautions for minor offences. Cautions showed up on 153,000 Criminal Records Bureau checks last year.
Liverpool Council are being urged to investigate whether the boom in weekend stag and hen parties in Liverpool is giving the city a bad name with ordinary tourists.
The Liberal Democrats claim there is a risk that more mild-mannered visitors will take away a negative impression of the city because of the volume and behaviour of groups enjoying celebrating upcoming marriages.
They said they believed Liverpool residents, particularly those with children, may also be unimpressed with rowdy crowds who are often already well-oiled by the early afternoons of Fridays and Saturdays.
A motion moved by Liberal Democrat Cllr Richard Oglethorpe states:
Whilst recognising their contribution to the local economy, this council believes that the current volume and behaviour of stag and hen parties may be in danger of deterring ordinary visitors and local residents from frequenting
Liverpool city centre.
I was walking down Hanover Street one day and this group of girls came out of a pub really bladdered, shouting their heads off and swearing. It was quite frightening for young kids. It's not just at 4am, it's late afternoons this is
happening. I think it will deter people coming to the city, and it doesn't give a great impression for those who live here either.
He said the motion had a lukewarm reception from members of the Labour group at the neighbourhoods committee last week, but is to get a second hearing at the community safety committee.
Police and prosecutors in the UK are accused of being incredibly heavy-handed when dealing with insulting internet messages.
It follows several cases where young people have been arrested, fined or jailed after posting insulting comments on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Bernie Hogan from the Oxford Internet Institute monitors what happens in other countries. He said that although the UK was leading the way in cracking down on this type of online abuse, by comparison we are incredibly heavy-handed .
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said in a statement: People have a right to publish their views but when these views become indecent, threatening or offensive then the individuals they affect also have the right to report them. The
police will assist with any prosecution.
Index, which campaigns for freedom of expression, say the cases are silly and the police only pursues them because they are easy prosecutions .
Town hall snoopers have been forcing taxi drivers to record all conversations in their cabs. In an alarming extension of the Big Brother state, CCTV and microphones had been installed in all cabs under the control of Southampton City Council.
However, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, responding to a complaint by a passenger, said most people expect privacy in the back of a cab, and that while CCTV can still be used, recording conversations must stop. He added:
By requiring taxi operators to record all conversations and images while the vehicles are in use, Southampton City Council has gone too far.
We recognise the council's desire to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers but this has to be balanced against the degree of privacy that most people would reasonably expect in the back of a taxi.
Jacqui Rayment, Southampton City Council's deputy leader, reprehensibly said:
We are disappointed with this decision. We are currently taking legal advice on the next steps to take, including appeal.'
Southampton began forcing local taxi drivers to record conversations between themselves and passengers in 2009, claiming it would provide greater safety for both parties.
In other parts of the country, including London, it is recommended that cabs either install CCTV systems without audio recording functions due to privacy concerns, or use a system which triggers audio recording only in specific circumstances for a
short period, such as if the driver has pressed a panic button.
After successfully challenging audio-CCTV in Oxford and Southampton, it has come to our attention that Doncaster is also pursuing audio recording in taxis.
Always-on audio recording means recording every minute of every conversation of every passenger. It is a disproportionate and intrusive policy that goes against data protection law and does little to address to the underlying threats to driver safety.
Needless to say we'll be contacting Doncaster Council and the Information Commissioner about the scheme.
Following a Big Brother Watch complaint to the Information Commissioner, last month Southampton Council was handed an enforcement notice for it's policy of requiring taxis to record both audio and video of every taxi journey.
The council has now announced it will appeal the ICO's action.
Yet more public resources will be tied up defending a policy that has no grounding in rational thought or civil society. It's another example of a council trying to steamroller surveillance through without paying attention to public opinion, privacy
or in this case, the law.
A Government minister has agreed with Big Brother Watch. Bob Neill, Minister for Local Government, has also come out against the move. He said:
This is another example of excessive and unjustifiable snooping by a Town Hall Stasi, harming civil liberties and lacking common sense. The Labour council should withdraw the appeal rather than waste taxpayers' money on an expensive
Twitter should take action as quickly as possible to deal with supposed abuse on its website, according to a senior police officer.
Stuart Hyde, chief constable of Cumbria police who speaks on e-crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was right for police to intervene in cases of bullying on twitter.
Asked if new laws were needed, Hyde told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
No, I think we have got quite a lot of legislation, dating back to the Malicious Communications Acts of 1998 and 2003. There is a lot there that helps us and gives us the power to do stuff.
This is a new technology, a new way of communicating, it has grown exponentially. There hasn't been separate legislation, so we are using legislation that wasn't particularly created for this, but it works reasonably well most of the
We are learning from it, there are things that have sometimes gone wrong and I think sometimes it is important that we make sure we provide the service people need.
If people come to us and say 'I am really upset, I've been offended, my life has been made a misery and I want somebody to do something about it', then yes the police should, whenever possible, try to help.
I don't want police officers dragged off the streets to deal with frivolous complaints. Where these complaints are pretty serious, then it is quite right that we should intervene, and we do that.
It is important to look at the whole context. It is not just about one tweet, it is a whole range of tweets.
Look at what the individual has done -- is this a concerted attempt to have a go at one individual in a way that passes the threshold for offences against the law? If it is, then clearly we should intervene and do something to stop
But Hyde said that police have so far not received large numbers of complaints about abusive Twitter messages.
A complaint has been made to a PC watchdog about a councillor accused of suggesting on Twitter that a woman turn to prostitution to earn money.
According to the Western Mail, Carmarthenshire councillor John Jenkins responded to a female Twitter user who said she needed to earn money quickly by writing:
Prostitution? On a serious note, good money in being in an escort.
Jenkins, who represents Elli in Llanelli as an independent, said:
Someone has obviously gone to a lot of effort to trawl through an archive of my private communications to find something that they can take out of context to make me look bad. Continue reading the main story Start Quote
In no way can private banter between friends, none of which were offended by the obvious tongue-in-cheek banter, be considered offensive.
He said he had been the subject of a vexatious, politically-motivated complaint and looked forward to explaining it to the ombudsman if the watchdog thinks there is a case to answer.
A spokeswoman for the Public Services Ombudsman confirmed a complaint had been made. She said it would be considered before a decision is taken whether to launch a formal investigation.
A Welsh Premier League footballer has been suspended after a supposedly homophobic tweet was sent to Olympic diver Tom Daley.
Port Talbot Town FC said midfielder Daniel Thomas has been the victim of a misguided prank after leaving his phone unattended, but said they have suspended the player and are investigating. A club spokesman said:
Port Talbot Town Football Club can confirm Daniel Thomas has been suspended from all involvement with the club until we have carried out a full internal investigation.
We were made aware to an offensive comment appearing on the Twitter feed of one of our players.
Having spoken at length to the player in question, we believe he regrettably left his phone unattended and was the victim of a very misguided 'prank'.
The club said it and Thomas apologised unreservedly and in no way condoned the views made in the tweet.
The Naked Rambler Stephen Gough has been arrested three days after he was released from prison.
Gough, a former Royal Marine who hikes across the country naked, was arrested in Townhill, Dunfermline, by policemen from Fife Constabulary.
He was released from Perth Prison on Tuesday, having spent the past six years in the Scottish jail.
A spokesman for Fife Constabulary said he was arrested following complaints from members of the public and has been charged with a supposed breach of the peace.
The Naked Rambler's supporters on Facebook have made an official complaint to the Fife Constabulary
Re Arrest of Mr Stephen Gough on the afternoon of 20th July 2012 whilst in the course of peacefully eating his lunch unattired
I refer to the ruling on Breach of the Peace, in 2001 in the High Court of Justiciary, where Lord Coulsfield held that breach of the peace required conduct severe enough to cause alarm to ordinary people and threaten serious
disturbance to the community and that mere annoyance or irritation were insufficient .
Misapplication of the legislation governed by this ruling would in itself constitute Breach of the Peace by any individual(s) conducting such misapplication. Fife Constabulary is hereby on notice to provide indisputable evidence,
including a physical witness, of serious disturbance to the community .
In this regard, this message is being copied to Professional Standards and constitutes a formal complaint.
Stephen Gough, nicknamed the Naked Rambler, has vowed to continue walking around Britain with no clothes on after tasting his first day of freedom after being jailed by Scotland for 6 years.
Former marine Stephen Gough has spent the vast majority of the past decade behind bars because of Scottish intolerance and injustice.
He initially earned the title Naked Rambler by walking unclothed from Land's End to John O'Groats after quitting his job as a lorry driver.
He was spoken to by police immediately after his release, but was then allowed to go on his way in an apparent shift in Tayside Police force policy. On the last few occasions he has been immediately arrested by officers waiting for him at the gates,
but yesterday he was given the go-ahead to walk off despite being naked.
Following his release he said: My opinion is that the police have thought 'the guy's not going to give up so let's have a think about it.
He revealed that he had spent the vast majority of his time in solitary confinement in maximum security Perth Prison - although he said life inside flew by.
Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers will begin touring the country today enforcing sponsors' multimillion-pound marketing deals, in a highly organised mission.
Almost 300 enforcement officers will be seen across the country checking firms to ensure they are not staging ambush marketing or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald's,
Coca-Cola and BP.
The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, refused to rule out that even more soldiers may be called upon to help with security. However, as well as the regular Army, the Olympic brand army will start its work with a vengeance today.
Wearing purple caps and tops, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are heading the biggest brand repression operation staged in the UK. Under legislation specially introduced for the London Games, they have the right to enter shops and offices and
bring court action with fines of up to £ 20,000. The ODA seems to comprise of council workers seconded from Trading Substandards.
Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including gold , silver and bronze , summer , sponsors and London . Publicans
have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as having an association
with the event.
The scale of the brand enforcement squad is likely to intensify criticism that the Olympics has become too corporate. Paul Jordan, an expert in brand protection at Bristows solicitors said they were almost certainly tougher than at previous Olympics:
No other brands would have people walking the streets being their eyes and ears, protecting their interests.
Confusion over a band called 4am and the time the group was due to perform on stage, prompted a visit from licensing officers and police to a local pub. The Feathers in Laleham, Surrey, had advertised live music from 4am .
Two licensing officers and two police officers visited the pub the day before to stop the performance, before being told it was the name of the band.
The pub's licensee, Kate Dillon, said she was speechless after the visit. She said:
If one official turns up that's funny enough, but if four people come into the pub like they did, it's absolutely ridiculous.
When I calmed down a bit I thought it was absolutely hilarious. They made idiots of themselves really.
The two-piece band, of Joe Becket and John Adams, was named after a track by jazz musician Herbie Hancock.
British citizens who marry foreigners will have to earn at least £ 20,000 a year if they want to set up their family home in the UK under new proposed human rights abuse.
The planned changes mean lower-paid Britons would be forced to emigrate if they wanted to live with a loved one from overseas.
And if the foreign-born spouse had children, their British partner would have to earn £ 30,000 or more, depending on how many children they had. They will also have to pass a strict new combined attachment test
to prove they share a genuine loyalty to Britain, not another country, and they will remain on probation for five years instead of the current two.
The proposals, to be announced by Home Secretary and human rights abuser Theresa May, are expected to cut immigration, currently standing at 250,000 a year, by 25,000. Tory rights abusing MPs last night welcomed the move .
May is also expected to confirm stringent English-speaking test for husbands, wives or partners of UK citizens applying to come to live in Britain on a family visa.
The new human rights abuse will not apply to partners from within the European Union, as they will continue to have the right to settle here.
Media and civil liberties groups have expressed alarm after the managers of an Olympic venue pledged to intercept and question anyone seen photographing or filming the site, even from public land, and defended security guards who wrongly tried to invoke
terrorist laws to prevent footage being shot of the arena.
The stance taken by the O2 in Greenwich highlights wider concerns that Olympic security operations could see photographers, film crews and even members of the public harassed for entirely legal activities.
John Toner from the National Union of Journalists said he would seek an urgent meeting with managers of the O2, saying their tactics had no basis in law: I'm stunned, and what they say is utterly outrageous.
While there are strict photography rules inside Olympic venues and on many other private spaces, when standing on public land the press and public have a clear right to shoot still or moving images.
As an experiment, the Guardian attempted to shoot video footage of the O2 arena from a public road on its southern edge, only a few minutes' walk from the main entrance.
Very quickly the reporter was challenged by O2 security guards, who made a series of demands with no basis in law. They ordered that the filming stop -- We've requested you to not do it because we don't like it -- and that they be shown any
existing footage. Asked on what basis they could demand this, one replied: It's under the terrorist law. We are an Olympic venue. Another added: You have, for want of a better word, breached our security by videoing it [the O2].
At one point they refused to allow the reporter to leave. One said: It's gone too far for that. Guards are entitled to challenge suspicious behaviour and call the police. However, they have no additional legal powers on public land. While such
overreach is not uncommon it is often followed by a management apology.
An O2 spokesman defended the guards' approach. He said: On the basis that [the reporter was] filming areas of the O2 that are not usually of interest to the public, our security staff's approach and handling of the situation was entirely
The civil rights campaign group Liberty said it was alarmed. Its legal officer Corinna Ferguson, said: There's no power stopping a person taking photographs on public land, let alone to arrest them or seize property, without reasonable suspicion
they've committed an offence. Police officers or security guards who get this wrong could well find themselves in trouble with the law.
Offsite: And from the Independent
Surely the security guards are not acting off their own initiative. Sounds like bollox and that they are doing what they have been told to do.
Poorly trained and overzealous security guards are abusing the law by clamping down on public photography in the run-up to this summer's Olympics.
Amateur and professional photographers say they are being routinely harangued by aggressive guards near Olympic venues, who use the upcoming Games as an excuse to restrict public photography despite having no basis in law to do so.
G4S, the private security company which is recruiting at least 10,000 extra staff for the Games, was forced to apologise yesterday after staff stopped a group of professional photographers taking pictures of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east
The five photographers were standing on public property outside the Olympic Stadium on Saturday but were forcibly prevented from taking photos by guards who claimed it was forbidden from where they were standing. Only a week earlier, senior police
officials had assured photographers that private security guards have no extra powers to clamp down on photography.
Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, is planning a rights abusing immigration clampdown on tens of thousands of people who use family visas to settle in Britain, according to a leaked cabinet letter.
The letter from May to Nick Clegg, which has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, proposes a tough new minimum income of £ 25,700 a year for anyone seeking to bring a spouse, partner or dependant to the UK from
outside the European Union from June - almost double the current threshold of £ 13,700.
The minimum income would rise dramatically - up to £ 62,600 - if children are also brought in.
May also wants a longer probationary period of five years before spouses and partners can apply to live permanently in Britain, and a higher level of English to be required.
The proposals could cut the number of immigrants allowed in by 15,000 a year - a significant step towards the Government's aim of reducing net migration to 100,000 people each year.
However, they are expected to fought hard by Clegg and other Liberal Democrat ministers, escalating still further the tensions between the two Coalition partners that have risen dramatically since last week's controversial Budget.
In 2010, some 48,900 visas were issued under this category. The majority of those who come to settle in Britain using this method are women from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
The government is proposing a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol in England and Wales. It ludicrously believes this could transform the behaviour of those who cause the most problems for hospitals and police.
The drinks industry said a minimum price was misguided and would hit consumers hard.
Under the minimum price proposal, such as at the suggested 40p level, it would act as a floor and retailers would not be allowed to offer alcohol cheaper than that. While most prices would be unaffected, it could significantly alter the price of
heavily-discounted ciders, super-strength lager and cheap spirits.
The impact could include:
A £ 2.99 bottle of red wine, containing 9.4 units of alcohol, would become £ 3.76 Cheap
strong lager at 75p a can, with three units per can, would become £ 1.20
strong cider, costing 87p a can and containing four units, would £ 1.60
Cheap supermarket whisky at £ 16.10, with 40 units of alcohol, would probably be unchanged in price
Home Secretary Theresa May said that just under one fifth of all alcohol sold would be affected by introducing a 40p minimum.
The repressive alcohol 'strategy' also seeks to give local agencies an extensive range of tools and powers such as restricting opening hours and amount of licensed premises.
It also plans to end the notion that drinking is an unqualified right by piloting sobriety schemes for those people whose offending is linked to excessive alcohol consumption , threatens the 'strategy' document.
The strategy also includes a plan for a late-night levy to make clubs and pubs help pay for policing.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the Labour Party supported the idea of a minimum unit price, subject to debate about where it should be set to ensure it worked.
Gavin Partington, interim chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said he thought a minimum price move would be highly likely to face a legal challenge from a drinks company.
Residents of every property in Shepherdess Walk in Hackney, East London, were told by their local council to remove their satellite dishes or face eviction.
Most of the dishes have been fixed to the front of houses for more than ten years. But Hackney Borough Council says planning permission was never granted.
Only people living in listed buildings need planning permission for a satellite dish (up to about a meter diameter), but the properties under duress are in fact listed.
The council has now told housing trust Circle 33 to make their tenants take down the dishes and fit them to the rear of houses - or switch to cable.
It is believed that the residents are the victims of a bid to clean up Hackney before the start of the Olympic Games in London in June.
resident Tony Emberson said:
I got the letter with only three days to sort something out. Residents believe the council's order is part of a bid to smarten the area up ahead of the Olympics, many events of which will be staged from the Olympic Park in the
neighbouring borough of Newham.
The deadline was extended to three weeks once the press got hold of the story.
Minimum pricing will surely make so called binge drinking problems worse. It is more likely to deter older people than youngsters who are on the unstoppable life quest to find a partner. Older people provide a level of natural policing to the
nightlife scene, and losing them just leaves bars full of youngsters, a recipe for the very problems the government is supposedly trying to reduce.
Police chiefs launched a scathing attack on David Cameron's miserable plans to tackle so called binge drinking, branding them dangerous and unhelpful .
The Police Federation also warned that forces did not have enough resources to implement the Prime Minister's crackdown.
Cameron on had pledged to tackle the growing scandal of alcohol-fuelled disorders during a visit to a hospital in Newcastle. He confirmed the Government was considering plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol and give police more powers
to tackle violence and disorder.
The crackdown includes plans for drunk tanks , cells where those deemed incapable of walking home would be sent by police to sleep it off, and booze buses , which pick up revellers and take them to cells. Other proposals include
deploying more police to accident and emergency wards to prevent drunken violence.
Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: The Prime Minister's suggestion of putting more police on patrol in hospitals to help deal with problems of drunken and anti-social behaviour would be laudable if the
police service wasn't struggling to meet the current workload. We simply do not, and will not, have the police officers or the resources.
McKeever said plans to tackle alcohol purely from a health perspective without considering the implications on other public services were unhelpful and likely to fail .
A public online consultation has been launched asking for views on the implementation of two new powers designed to spoil people's fun and depress the late night economy.
The measures, contained in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and due to be introduced in the autumn, will empower local killjoys by:
allowing local authorities to charge a levy for late-night licences to contribute to the cost of extra policing
extending Early Morning Restriction Orders -- a power that will allow licensing authorities to restrict the sale of alcohol in all or part of their areas -- to any time between midnight and 6am
The consultation asks whether some types of premises should be exempted from the new measures, or eligible for a reduction in the levy, if they are judged not to be major contributors to the type alcohol-related crime and disorder that can blight
neighbourhoods. Such premises could be hotels, cinemas or community venues.
Minister for Fun Prevention Lord Henley said:
Alcohol-related crime and disorder is a problem for many of our communities. These new measures give power back to local areas so they can respond to their individual needs.
But we also recognise that some types of premises that open late to serve alcohol do not contribute to late night drinking problems and should not be unduly penalised. That is why we are seeking views on whether they should be exempt
or see a reduction in fees.
We are keen to hear from anyone who is affected by these new powers to help inform our plans to ensure the premises we have proposed are the right ones.
The public, licensing authorities, the licensed trade and police are all encouraged to contribute their views.