NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
LEGISLATION TO FRANCHISE SOME OF THE WORK OF THE POLICE FORCE REQUIRES ADEQUATE SCRUTINY
When Government consultative documents are slipped out during the TT period you can bet your life the Government is hoping for the most part they will remain undetected for a time by all but the most zealous.
Into such a category would appear to fall the Police Powers (Amendment) Bill 2015 which appeared this morning.
At first glance it seems innocuous, but scratch the service and it would seem, if adopted as it stands, to give a licence to the Department of Home Affairs to franchise out sections of current police work to the private sector (and curiously also dispense with some current functions?).
Obviously, the document will need detailed scrutiny, but we would suggest that whilst it may well be appropriate to sub-contract out other areas of government functions, rather than diminish the present scope of policing the existing structure should be properly financed and strengthened.
The document also seems to give the power to ‘make orders’ to effect future change should the Bill be enacted. Such facility in the hands of the future Ministers could in effect lead to be further changes being ‘slid through’ albeit with the brief scrutiny of Tynwald.
MHKs/MLCs will be ‘winding down’ at the moment but we think they should perhaps take a minute or two away from the holiday brochures and the packing and weigh up thoroughly what Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson and his colleagues are up to.
Finally, and as usual with as critical an item of legislation, the consultation period is too short. Funny how government can prevaricate for years over some issues but legislation which requires cross referencing with earlier legislation (and possibly legislation in like jurisdictions) has such a tight time frame (six weeks) for comment.
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
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