VFRBimbler wrote:Those supposedly in charge are simply tying themselves up in knots.
On the one hand you have Cressida Dick saying Boris Johnson's cycle in east London at the weekend was "not against the law", but then goes on to say that the "stay local" rules on exercise for England could be made more clear, implying he may have broken a rule.
The police can only enforce the law and e.g. issue a fixed penalty notice if they believe the law to have been broken. They cannot enforce rules or guidance that have no legal standing. I am therefore unsure how clarifying a rule makes any difference from a strictly legal standpoint.
The law makers may have looked at the pros and cons of having rather vague laws against something much more prescriptive and decided to go with the present situation and accept there might be some controversies, on the basis much of the general public is likely simply to go along with the spirit of the government’s intentions, especially if the manner in which the message is by and large promulgated is that the rules and guidance are in fact the law.
N.B. Not intended as a political comment or to break forum rules.
N.B.2. Not intended as a comment on what people should or should not be doing.
Couldnt agree more.
The job of the police is to enforce the law (or one of their jobs). Reasonably they might hand out their own view on what it is sensible to do and not do, but this is another matter.
In my view it is not their job to unreasoanbly interpret the law or second guess the will of Parliament.
The recent FPNs are a good point in question. They stood zero chance of succeeding in Court, and to make matters worse, they stood zero chance of the public purse taking the offenders to Court. The danger is therefore people pay because they think they should, or dont understand the way the process works, end up with the FPN on their permanent record, when in fact the FPN should never have been issued in the first place.
The job of the police where it comes to bringing an action is that they only do so in cases where these is a reasonable chance of success, and in these cases, the test is not even close to being met.
I dont mind a bit of saber rattling, but this is going too far, and the trouble is it impinges on the very important concept of policing by consent.
(Same caveats above about rules and political content which is not in any way intended or implied)