Plans to replace Asbos with wide ranging new orders clamping down on anything likely to cause “annoyance” amount to “gross state interference” with basic freedoms, Lord Macdonald warns
Christian preachers, buskers and peaceful protesters could effectively be driven off the streets under draconian new powers designed to clamp on anyone deemed “annoying”, according to a former Director of Public Prosecutions.
Lord Macdonald QC said Theresa May, the Home Secretary’s plans for a new civil injunctions to replace Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbos) amount to “gross state interference” with people’s private lives and basic freedoms.
In a formal legal opinion being circulated to peers, he savages the proposals as opening the way for the outright “suppression” of anything deemed “potentially annoying” with only “vague” justification.
The proposed safeguards to prevent abuse of the new system are “shockingly” weak, he writes.
Under proposals currently before Parliament, Asbos are to be scrapped and replaced with wide-ranging new orders known as Ipnas (Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance).
They are designed to be easier to obtain, require a lower evidential threshod and yet cover a wider range of behaviour.