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NEWS

Short Update: Big Brother Watch report details misuse of emergency police powers in UK

FairTrialsAdmin - May 4, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, New criminal offences, Surveillance

Big Brother Watch has issued a report detailing major shortcomings in adoption and implementation of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and Health Protection Regulations 2020 in the United Kingdom. The report draws attention to the lack of clarity and guidance on the legal norms granting exceedingly wide powers to ministers and law-enforcement authorities.  

The main findings after review of the first month of emergency powers in the United Kingdom include:  

  • a new case of a teen wrongly convicted under Coronavirus Act and under powers for the wrong country 

  • a “postcode lottery of pandemic law” as forces deliver “inconsistent, heavy-handed and sometimes incompetent” policing 

  • suspension of freedom of information relating to coronavirus policing 

  • new curbs on free speech online 

  • growing use of drones, ANPR, location tracking and “a surveillance state in the UK of a scale never seen before”. 

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected] 

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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