Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Theft By Finding - UK Police State

Coming just days after I blasted the police state emerging in the UK with this blog entry, comes this story about a young Liverpool man who was arrested for returning a lost cell phone to the police station with the charge of "theft by finding." He sat in jail for hours and was interrogated for 15 minutes before they withdrew the case against him. Before he could leave they were sure to get their hands on his much-coveted DNA swab and fingerprints as is standard issue. Now this 18 year old (who was celebrating his birthday at the time) has a police record for returning a lost cell phone, how irrational is that?

"I thought I was doing the right thing and had it thrown back in my face. I would not go to the police in future. I would arrange for it to be collected by the last caller. All I was doing was the honest thing."

Is this part of the criminological thinking Pugh (director of forensic sciences at Scotland Yard) is referring to as he pushes for more of these invasive procedures to "keep better tabs" on such would-be criminals? This is one issue where it makes no difference if you are 5 or 50. If you're innocent of crime, you're not a criminal, and nobody ought to treat you like one.

No comments:

Post a Comment