Score for the Thought Police

From The Lancashire Telegraph

Dozens in East Lancs reported to anti-terror hotline

DOZENS of people have been reported to police as part of a new scheme to root out potential terrorists in East Lancashire.
The Channel Project aims to prevent 'vulnerable people' becoming radicalised.
It encourages citizens to report any 'worrying behaviour' - such as a schoolboy drawing pictures of bombs or bus passengers spouting extremist views - to a special hotline.

This entire scheme makes my skin crawl. Encouraging citizens to spy and report on each other?

Police then complete background checks on individuals before a panel meets to decide if any action needs to be taken.
Interventions can range from a simple chat to a complex mentoring and counselling process.

And what happens if the police approach someone for an informal chat and get told to fuck off? Do they go away? I doubt it.

Critics said the Channel Project was a step too far in terms of civil liberties. They said it could cause fear in communities.
But police said it was 'not about spying, but identifying vulnerable people and helping them'.

WTF? How does being reported to the authorities as a potential terrorist help you?

Blackburn and Burnley are two of 28 national pilot schemes launched last November after concerns that many neighbours in Leeds had suspicions about the 7/7 London bombers but did not report anything to police.
Dozens of East Lancashire people, the majority aged between 15 and 24, have been reported to police for having either extremist Islamic views, far-right leanings and or being IRA sympathisers.

IRA sympathisers???
Far right leanings? According to the political spectrum quiz, I have far right leanings. Does that mean I am due an 'informal chat'? Are people not entitled to their views in a free society, no matter how barking they may be?

The information has not prompted any criminal investigations.

So its doing well then? Are people just reporting folk because they dont like them?

So far the scheme has relied on tip-offs from people in public sector jobs, such as teachers, social workers and bin men, or workers who come into contact with the public a lot, such as bus drivers.
But now police are urging the wider community to report their concerns to the hotline.
Examples of the types of behaviour that could be reported include:

• A bus passenger expressing racist views

How do you report a bus passenger? How do you even know who they are? And again, are people not entitled to their veiws as long as they are not harming anyone?

• New neighbours behaving oddly, such as keeping curtains shut all day

I keep my curtains shut all day. The sun glares on the telly. I am worried now.

• A vulnerable loner who suddenly gets a large group of new friends.

Maybe he has met some folk down the pub. Good luck to him.

Inspector Paul Goodall, the Prevent and Channel co-ordinator for East Lancashire, said the project aimed to target those with 'extremist views’.
He said: “We are looking at people who would not normally come onto our radar.
“In their behaviour they may not actually be doing anything wrong, but if we have concerns about how they could develop, it is our role to engage with that person.

Is it now the role of the police and the state to target and interfere with those who have committed no crimes? How can you target someone incase they commit a crime in the future? Its not the Minority Report

“This is a massive change for us because these people are not criminals.
“We hope and expect that the numbers of referrals will increase.”
Jack Straw , Blackburn MP, said a fine balance needed to be found to protect the public and not infringe on people’s privacy.
Mr Straw, the former Justice Minister, said: “The horror of terrorism is that the victims are chosen at random and as someone who was involved in an IRA attack in the 1970s I know that it is one of those areas that the police cannot ignore.

As someone involved in the IRA attacks in the 70s do you remember that there were no terrorist hotlines, no ID cards, no DNA databases and no government and media scaremongering whatsoever. Did Margaret Thatcher not say,

Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend
And for final measure:

Partners in the Channel scheme locally are the Prince's Trust, Samaritans, councils and football teams and the youth inclusion support panel.

The Youth Inclusion Support Panel? WTF is the Youth Inclusion Support Panel? Sounds like another one for Camerons Bonfire of the quangos

For more information or to report anyone to the Channel team call 01254 353666 or the anti-terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321. (And ask them what the fuck they think they are playing at)