Farage said: \”Spot checks and being demanded to show your papers by officialdom are not the British way of doing things. Yes, of course we want to deal with illegal immigration, but what\’s the point of rounding people up at railway stations if at the same time they\’re still flooding in through Dover and the other nearly hundred ports in this country.

\”I\’m astonished that the Home Office has become so politicised that they\’re actually advertising \’another 10 arrested\’. Before long they\’ll be live video-streaming these arrests. I don\’t like it. It really is not the way we\’ve ever behaved or operated as a country. We don\’t have ID cards; we should not be stopped by officialdom and have to prove who we are.\”

We are, after all, free people in a free country.

26 thoughts on “Quite”

  1. Yesterday, whilst driving, I was pulled over by rozzers in hi-viz. One of their Ilk approached passenger window, which I wound down.

    “Good morning, sir, is this your car?”

    “Yes”

    “And you are?”

    “Lud”, bridling.

    “We”ve stopped you because we’ve a colleague back down the road who thought the tint on your windows was a bit too dark, so maybe the car wasn’t roadworthy. Have you modified the glass, sir?”

    “No”

    “That’s fine, sir. Now I can see into the car, I can see this is a factory-fitted tint. No problem, please carry on”.

    Reader, I did. Free country, my arse.

  2. Variation on Edward’s experience:

    “We”ve stopped you because we’ve a colleague back down the road who thought the tint on your skin was a bit too dark, so maybe you weren’t legal. Have you modified your skin, sir?

    “Yes, I went to Essex Tans and got their Xtra dark tan.”

    “That’s fine, sir. Now I can see into the car, I can see that yours is a factory-fitted tint. No problem, please carry on”.

    Strange how little you need to change.

  3. Edward,

    Could it be that there are regulations limiting how dark glass can be? A possible reason is that nowadays speed cameras are supposed to be able to take pictures of the driver.

    If that was what caught out caught out Chris Hune then I’m in favour those snap shots. Plus I’ve heard of others trying the “I wasn’t driving the car” trick. If they can be caught as well then I don’t mind pictures being taken – as long as it’s ONLY pictures of speeding vehicles that are taken.

  4. Ralph, the s 172 RTA 1988 procedure requiring production of driver identity breaches the privilege against self-incrimination. Lord Bingham’s reasoning to the contrary is a disgrace in equal measure.

    As to regulations on glass tint, I’m sure there are. Of course there are. And why stop there? If, in twenty years, street cctv can conduct ANPR-style retina scans, why not then have regulations dealing with the tint of your sunglasses, and a requirement to identify yourself if your personal barcode has given you away?

  5. Ralph, Edward, there is some regulation against dark tinted windscreens and front side. Can’t cite now. Not sure if it’s aimed at driver ID, or on the driver being able to see.

    I’m afraid I can’t share your outrage about s172, but can you point me to Bingham’s justification of it?

  6. @ the learned Mr Lud
    There are indeed regs regarding tinted windows. Construction & Use specifies a max level of tint & ex factory cars’ windows should be homologated (if that’s how you spell it- Firefox spellcheck has no opinion) to comply with UK requirements. However. You got of light. Same happened to a relative with his BMW with ex-factory tints. Copper adjudged them too dark. His brief recommended he coughed the £60. Reason being, the expense entailed in proving himself innocent wouldn’t be worth it. The technical specification can be trumped by plods opinion.

  7. Tim, I looked up UKIP’s immigration policy

    …Overstaying a visa would become a criminal offence…Measures would be taken to identify illegal immigrants and remove them to their country of origin…

    Should I take it from Farage’s latest remarks that you’re changed your minds about this?

  8. You’re not outraged the state punishes people for not confessing? Wow.

    As to the justification, I can’t recall the case, but it boils down to the sophistry that by admitting to being the driver, you’re not admitting a crime, you’re just saying you’re the driver.

  9. “We are, after all, free people in a free country’
    ‘ Tee hee.
    See the CCTV camers watching you. See the people from the council, the social workers etc watching you.
    See that you are being slowly replaced by outlanders – ‘for your own good of course’
    Dare to speak to a strange child lately?
    Say the wrong thing and get reported by an eager citizen and arrested?
    Hideously white ?
    Tut tut.

  10. Re tints, it is “necessary” for drivers to be able to see one another, in order to communicate with each other, communicate with someone who is directing traffic, and of course for hand signals to be visible.

  11. Edward: drivers are licensed by the state, there is no automatic right in law to drive a car. Therefore, it is quite reasonable for the police to demand that a suspected misbehaving driver produce their licence.

    Or do you think that everyone ought to be allowed to roam free in nuclear facilities “because self-incrimination”? Clearly if you need authorisation from the state for a certain activity then it is no infringement of your rights to be required to produce that authorisation while you are undertaking that activity.

  12. Edward, mainly what Philip W, said, and also it’s only an admission that you were at the scene of the alleged crime. Right to silence is now only partial, so no, I’m still not outraged that people choosing to propel 1 tonne metal objects at 70mph have to be accountable for their actions.

    Back to the original post. Can an
    immigration official actually require someone to show papers on the grounds that they are a bit dark/look shifty when they see an official looking person? [the last is the official home office explanation given for how they selected]

    If so, under what provision? Lazy I know.

  13. Luke,

    Can an
    immigration official actually require someone to show papers on the grounds that they are a bit dark/look shifty when they see an official looking person?

    Skin colour, no. The immigration officer needs reasonable suspicion to stop and ask questions, but the person has no obligation to stop and answer. See Chapter 31.19 Enforcement Instructions and Guidance:

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/enforcement/oemsectione/chapter31?view=Binary

  14. Philip, I have nothing but contempt and hatred for state licensing, of any sort. Either you are pro-liberty or you’re not. There’s no halfway house. And a good example of the inevitable practical consequences of state licensing is the s172 procedure which demands you confess or be punished for failing to do so. But we’re not going to have any kind of constructive dispute about this, so I suggest dropping it.

    Luke, I haven’t said people shouldn’t be accountable for their actions. The fact that you seem to thnk I have suggests a poor grasp of first principles.

  15. Actually, Luke, I could phrase that better: in the circumstances as I described them, what actions would you have me accountable for?

  16. UKL, enforcement instructions? Are those statutory? Can a govt dept just say “we have some new guidelines”? Under PACE, I doubt that “looking a bit shifty” counts as reasonable suspicion of committing an indictable offence. I should know the answer, but I don’t

    Edward, some other time. Not being dismissive. But if you engage in an activity that kills 2000 innocents pa, you lose some of your rights. I think I’m being free market here, not moral.

  17. PS, Edward, can you give me your address so I can start a fireworks factory/fracking plant/nuclear reprocessing plant/windfarm/paedophile rehabilitation centre next door? I see that you are against state licencing.

  18. Luke, I know you said you were lazy but too lazy to click a link and read a couple of sides of A4?

    The authority to stop and question people in-country (as opposed to at the border) is provided by Immigration Act 1971 Schedule 2 and Singh v Hammond. In terms of a street operation there must first be “sufficient intelligence” to authorise the operation. Then the immigration officer must justify questioning a member of the public on a “consensual basis” based on that individual’s behaviour. Also “Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful for IOs carrying out their duties to do any act which constitutes race discrimination.”

    31.19.5 discusses the “Basis to stop individuals” (their behaviour).

  19. Luke, as far as I’m concerned, you can do whatever you like with your property, subject to the ordinary laws of tort. I’m assuming you’ve got the money to but a pad next to mine.

  20. Luke, it is a basic fact that prosecution must prove its case, not the other way round. Why it would not be the case for drivers is hard to understand. Also, if someone else happened to drive your car, you are then forced to “grass” them, by law.

    If you think that it is ok, and spare the spurious “2t of metal at 70mph”, then you are probably also of the “nothing to fear, nothing to hide” brigade.

  21. Edward L, I’m prepared to bend the strict rule against self-incrimination in limited circs, on the basis of practical rather than jurisprudential reasons You’re not. Fair enough.

    UKL, “Luke, I know you said you were lazy but too lazy to click a link and read a couple of sides of A4?” That question answers itself, as I didn’t.

    More seriously, thanks, but I am still struggling a bit, though maybe with a different point. The main point of Singh v Hammond (and I was too lazy to read anything more than the CA judgment) seems to be whether an examination under Sched 2 Para 2 can be conducted away from the point of entry- answer, yes. But the point at issue was whether Singh had just lied, or lied in the course of a valid examination.

    But he consented to the examination by letting the IO in. And at some point it came to the IO’s attention that he had entered under a different name, so the IO had reason to investigate.

    But say an IP approaches someone tells outside the tube on the grounds (a) he looks a bit shifty and i(b) s in an area thought to contain illegal immigrants – which is what the Home Office are doing. He tells them to piss off. Is he then guilty of an offence under section 26(1(a)?

  22. Last one.

    “Then the immigration officer must justify questioning a member of the public on a “consensual basis” based on that individual’s behaviour.”

    Where in the Act does it say it has to be consensual? Under 26 it can be a criminal offence not to answer.

  23. But say an IP approaches someone tells outside the tube on the grounds (a) he looks a bit shifty and i(b) s in an area thought to contain illegal immigrants – which is what the Home Office are doing. He tells them to piss off. Is he then guilty of an offence under section 26(1(a)?

    AIUI, on the street, the immigration officer has as much power to compel you to answer his questions as I do (i.e. none). Whether the person would be confident enough to politely decline to answer and walk away, or whether the officer would exceed his powers, are another matter. If the person says he will cooperate and then tries to leave that could help form a basis for arrest.

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