B727 - Public Order (Amendment) Bill 2014Watch
Forgot to stick that in the 'Field' code thingy.
I am unsure of this bill. It is much better than the authoritarian controlling bill that someone else made.
As for the enacting words - this was drafted before the end of voting on the amendment. So original enacting words were used.
Aye in principle. I have a hypothetical concern though. Let's say you have a legal case where a group of protesters called Thugs'R'Us plans a march through Trumpton. This group are notorious for causing violence on their marches and attacking businesses they deem immoral in the name of their anti-capitalist beliefs. The local police force take the decision to close shops on Trumpton High Street using the powers granted to them under this act, in order to protect their customers from encountering this violence. Would the businesses made to close potentially consider a civil lawsuit against Thugs'R'Us for damages due to the fact their criminal violence resulted in a loss of profit? Or, in an alternate case, could a lawsuit be filed against the Police if they deem the closure in question to be frivolous and unwarranted?
So I would not expect this measure to be used in the scenario you outlined. Instead, I'd expect to see existing police powers used, namely Section 12 of the Public Order Act 1986. This section allows a senior police officer to impose conditions on a procession which he believes: "...may result in serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community..."
So, in short, I think that what we would see would be the police focusing on the protesters rather than the shops. However it isn't unusual for shops which are located on the routes of protests to take it upon themselves to close for the day.
Does that make sense?
The bill makes sense, and it would be a good idea, but... I am not the best person with words, so if this doesn't make sense I apologise. I just feel that Black Friday can be a good thing. If you consider the Multiplier effect, an increase in buying as a result of Black Friday leads to increased profits, which can be used for innovation, employing more staff or increasing the wages of people. Whilst Black Friday can lead to social discontent, it can also lead to economic growth.
Does that make sense?
The first thing I'd like to say is that whilst this bill was inspired by the events of Black Friday, it would not be restricted to just the last Friday in November.
In response to your concern - this bill is not designed to stop Black Friday events or other sales. It is designed to ensure that such events are conducted in a safe manner. As I explained in the notes, there were occasions where police officers had to attend the same shop on more than one occasion. Senior police officers have explained that they did not feel that shops had done enough to ensure a safe Black Friday.
This cannot be right - and we cannot expect that the police have their time taken up responding to situations caused by a failure of a shop to prepare properly.
This kind of power already exists for clubs and pubs. I do not see why it shouldn't apply to shops.
I'd also hope that shops work closely with the police and actually make proper preparations so that the police service do not have to use this power.
The biggest error in this bill is its ineffectiveness of having the desired outcome. The author highlighted the Black Friday fights in the notes section but only includes a £20,000 fine. The big retailers involved in those fights will make more than £20,000 opening on the day regardless of a police order. There will be no incentive for the big retailers to close a branch. The bill goes further and allows the police to use force in enforcing a closure of a store, this is even more ridiculous and goes against a second point of reasoning, which is, having police officers in shops during Black Friday occupies police time preventing them from attending other calls.
This bill will, in effect, be nothing more than a £20,000 opening fee on retailers in the jurisdiction of an over cautious police officer. A choice will then have to be made between sending police officers to enforce a closure occupying their time, or allowing a retailer to open regardless and hope for a £20,000 fine.
This bill suffers from a case of trying to pass a law for everything you don't like or would like to see different. Sometimes in life things happen which you cannot pass a law to control. I think this is one of those occasions. We do not need an even bigger nanny state, we need less of a nanny state with smaller government.
- Study Helper