Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More groups join the anti Taser protests with justifiable anger as Taser police told ‘you have immunity’, the anti list goes cross party and beyond

















Dear All

In Scotland it seems there is a new twist to the Police Taser row which has been rumbling on for some time.

A new row has exploded about the use of Tasers by frontline police officers; in a nutshell a Police Officer can torture you using a Taser and be covered by Crown immunity.

All the officer has to say is that their actions were justifiable and necessary.

After uttering these words, they get the full backing of the Crown.

Now opposition politicians and civil rights groups have rightly reacted with alarm to the claim that officers are immune from prosecution. Such an approach they say would be dangerous and wrong.

The present position in Scotland is that Tasers are a matter for individual police, with a Holyrood election in little over a year away, opposition parties could make this an election issue and expect to win immediate public support.

Weight is added to the anti Taser argument last month when a 50-page legal report, by a leading QC commissioned by Amnesty International flagged up serious concerns about the Taser pilot.

Amnesty is calling for the Taser pilot to be suspended and have been supported by Labour and the Lib Dems.

Imagine even the Labour Party has seen the light.

And it isn’t just Amnesty that has backed calls for a halt, Alan Miller, chairman of Scotland’s Human Rights Commission, and Tam Baillie, the Children’s Commissioner have also gotten on board.

Tam Baillie getting something right is the equivalent to giving a monkey a typewriter and coming back later to find it has written Shakespeare.

Strathclyde Police at present want to protect the status quo and believe the pilot is lawful.

Legal opinion in the Aidan Report says different, it is also in my opinion highly unethical and immoral.

The Police have quite rightly concerns about the growing number of assaults but this can be dealt with in other ways.

John Watson, Scottish programme director for Amnesty International, said:

“Amnesty believes that Tasers have a role to play in modern policing but the right place for these weapons is in the hands of specialist and highly trained firearms officers rather than with ordinary officers on the beat.”

Tony Kelly, a well known human rights solicitor states that claiming Crown immunity for officers is wrong and does not remove the need to be compliant with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

He said:

“Police officers cannot claim Crown immunity. They hold office under the Crown; they swear allegiance to the sovereign. That does not make them servants of the Crown – a very peculiar position with very peculiar consequences. One need only pause for a moment to think of the consequences of police officers claiming immunity as Crown servants for the very notion of the rule of law. Would they be immune from prosecution and from civil suit? And why has it not been claimed thus far?”

Kelly made this devastating point:

“It has been unequivocally stated in the leading textbook on constitutional law that police officers are not servants of the Crown.”

It seems that this issue will not be going away and as I said could be used by opposition parties as part of their law and order strategy citing justice based on fairness.

The position in Scotland as it presently stands according to reports is that a Police Officer could effectively torture a person using a Taser and get away with it.

Who would have thought such a thing would be allowed in Scotland 2010.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

2 comments:

Conan the Librarian™ said...

How did Gary Lineker get hold of a taser?

George Laird said...

Dear Conan

Free taser with every brand new football in South Afrca.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University