Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The One That Is Watching His Bloody Back . . .

Today saw a superb piece from the always excellent Daily Mash which is a parody of the news stories about use of RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) by local authorities to 'snoop' on dog walkers.

Now RIPA is an interesting bit of legislation, and is one that I am personally acquainted with having endured a seemingly endless training course with Kent Police relating to it, and the 'sister' act - CPIA. It does actually have fairly robust safeguards regarding the use of the provisions therein and the consequences for anyone who steps out of line.

It all comes down to a little mnemonic - JAPAN. Any investigations must be Justified, Auditable, Proportionate, Authorised and Necessary. If your investigations do not fulfill all criteria, watch out, because it is you who carry the can for it.

Now, I am a dog owner who does pick up after my charge, and it makes me really angry when people don't do it. It is selfish and basically acting like a prick. However, is the use of directed surveillance really proportionate in the matter of dog walkers not picking up after their pooch has a poo-poo? I would submit not, it is an example of legislation creep where powers put in place for fairly specific reasons are being used in situations it was never designed for.

It would be interesting to see if anyone charged with not clearing up after their dog gets full disclosure (local authorities are notoriously bad at disclosure, they don't have the staff or training, no disclosure is abuse of process and should lead to cases being thrown out of court) of the evidence or if public interest immunity is sought on the surveillance that gets them to court in the first place. I would imagine a number of magistrates would be quite scathing of what amounts to the abuse of RIPA powers in cases such as this.

Who knows perhaps these covert, dog walking, surveillance officers have seen the episode of the Day Today where they talk about the IRA using dog bombs and are just being vigilant?

Watch out for these bastards, it'll not be long before they demand that we all collect our own shit to be sent off for dietary analysis, it'll be for own good. . .


Anonymous said...

it'll not be long before they demand that we all collect our own shit to be sent off for dietary analysis

But then we will finally be able to answer the age-old question, 'Who ate all the pies?'

I don't have a dog. I've seen dog walkers who collect the stuff (much to the bemusement of their dogs) and some who don't.

When I was young, nobody ever thought to pick up their dog's crap. As children we used to go around sticking little flags in them. They were everywhere.

But in those days, people looked where they were going so the 'squelch' moments weren't too common.

Sure, it's a good thing to clean it up, but it's hardly a hanging offence if someone misses one. Certainly not something that justifies employing poo-wardens to trail around after people.

It looks like all those we medicate as 'paranoid' might have been right after all. 'They' really are watching us wherever we go.

One final thought - if I walked a dog, and I took a dump, does the dog get prosecuted for not picking it up? Would the confusion be enough to blow a poo-warden's brain? Could be worth a try.

Snowolf said...

Nice idea, leg-iron, next time the Snowolf and I go out for a stroll, I'll tie a carrier bag (Yes! I still use them, I'm killing the planet, God damn me, and I couldn't give a fuck) to her harness.

I'll then look for a poo-warden, or a CCTV camera and curl out a Mr. Whippy on the grass. Perhaps the council will seize the dog's bed in lieu of payment of the fine?