There is no piece of legislation that has been introduced for terrorism that has not been misused by the police for purposes far from the mind of Parliament, and this one will be no different.
The Times reports on the case of a Ghanaian man brutally beaten by two off-duty police officers on the tube:
“One of the two men then jumped up and confronted Mr Domfeh in an aggressive manner saying, ‘You what? What did you say?’. Mr Domfeh was punched and the other man joined in. One punch was strong enough to send him staggering back through the open carriage doors and he fell backwards on to the platform, banging his head as he did so,” Mr Durose said.Mr Domfeh was lucky enough to live through the attack; the blow that felled him on the platform may have caused a broken skull, and death. No doubt in that case the officer could have claimed he didn't mean to kill Mr Domfeh. That he thought Mr Domfeh was reaching for a gun, or the detonator of a body-bomb. A Coroner's jury in an open court could have made up its mind on such submissions. A judge sitting alone in secret could give the policeman's story credence with no check or balance.
A beating in the cells, rough handling in the police van, or an eighteen stone copper kneeling on the chest of a ten stone suspect have all led to the death of prisoners at the hands of the police. And to date, all judicial investigation into such deaths has been open and transparent. It has been so only because there has been no choice, but there will now be huge pressure from the police to class such cases as 'sensitive' and avoid open Coroner's Courts.
An uneccessary and retrograde law.