We told you a few weeks ago how stop and search was massively on the rise again in London, and now the government's anti-terror watchdog says police are stopping people randomly to make sure the race stats balance up. (If true, they're not doing a very good job.) Lord Carlile calls it an "invasion of civil liberties" and we're inclined to agree - once we've got over our 'WTF?' moment.
Carlile also criticises the way London is under a blanket Section 44 order, allowing police to stop and search without suspicion that an offence has been committed.
"I cannot see a justification for the whole of the Greater London area being covered permanently, and the intention of the section was not to place London under permanent special search powers."
said he. Apparently the Met are looking into running a pilot for a more restricted use of the powers, which we very much look forward to.
Police abusing anti-terror legislation by making people delete camera images also comes under Carlile's notice - and not a moment too soon, it seems. Citing the incident where two Austrian tourists were forced to delete their holiday snaps, the report says
"It is inexcusable for police officers ever to use this provision to interfere with the rights of individuals to take photographs... Police officers who use force or threaten force in this context run the real risk of being prosecuted themselves for one or more of several possible criminal and disciplinary offences."
We're not sure what will change as a result of this report but hey - it's good to see this stuff being said in official channels.