UK Liberty

Well done!

Posted in accountability, freedom of information, politicians on liberty by ukliberty on January 21, 2009

This is absolutely brilliant.

Tom Steinberg, MySociety:

The vote on concealing MPs’ expenses has been cancelled by the government!

In other words – we won!

This is a huge victory not just for transparency, it’s a bellweather for a change in the way politics works. There’s no such thing as a good day to bury bad news any more, the Internet has seen to that.

Over 7000 people joined a Facebook group, they sent thousands of emails to over 90% of all MPs. Hundreds of thousands of people found out about the story by visiting TheyWorkForYou to find something they wanted to know, reading an email alert, or simply discovered what was going on whilst checking their Facebook or Twitter pages. Almost all of this happened, from nowhere, within 48 hours, putting enough pressure on Parliament to force change. …

I hear Unlock Democracy bought a full page ad in the Times, too.  Not sure if it’s this ad.


This will do wonders for deterrence

Posted in law and order by ukliberty on January 21, 2009

The Telegraph:

Almost a third of suspected crimes fail to reach court, Jacqui Smith admits

Almost a third of criminal suspects arrested in the past year were not charged, government figures have shown.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, told MPs at a select committee hearing that out of 550,000 cases leading to arrests last year, 160,000 were dropped.

It is eight times more than the number originally predicted by the Home Office when a new system was introduced, in which police handed to prosecutors the power of charging serious offences to help save time and money, and increase conviction rates at court. …

In November a report into the process revealed that some criminal suspects remained on bail for weeks or even months before being charged because of complex, inefficient and inconsistent charging practices. In one case, the time from arrest to charge was 369, although the average was 41.3 days, and suspects were regularly “rebailed”.

The first review of the scheme found that present processes were “inconsistent, overly complex, inefficient and lacking in pragmatism, often leading to avoidable delays and frustration”. …