I smell a bad idea in the making

Ah, another day. Surely that means another wonderful infringement of civil liberties by the government.

Well, lookee. Sure, it’s a couple of days old, but there’s been enough in the interval for this to count as “today’s folly”.

Violent offender orders, to be given out without a criminal conviction, would impose stronger penalties on people who carry out violent acts if it was at all predictable that they could carry out acts of violence.

Personally, I think that this is all a bit backwards; people can anticipate violence from people who seem more likely to be violent. It’s all those sneaky sods, who don’t look like they’d hurt a fly, that you want to be wary of, but hey, I don’t write the law…

Examples that are given which would be grounds for a VOO are “cognitive deficiencies”, “entrenched pro-criminal or antisocial attitudes”, or “a history of substance abuse or mental health issues”. So the hard of thinking are going to be in line for more jail time if they are violent than a cold, sane, smart bastard who knew full well the consequences of their actions. How is that, in any way, sensible?

And how long before mouthing off on teh interweb about the violence they’d like to befall government ministers becomes grounds for a VOO? Because, y’know, that would be an issue close to my heart. Obviously.

Anyway, how long before it all goes the way of ASBOs and becomes a badge of honour thing? Personally, I say it’ll be weeks, rather than months. And then of course there is the matter of figure fudging; this will add enormously to the detection rates and conviction figures, while doing nothing to actually prevent or deter crime.

Perfect Home Office scheme, really. No good will come of it; new forms will be produced, and more people will become criminals in the eyes of the law without being convicted by a jury of their peers.


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