Rachel Maclean confused as she fails to explain new police powers
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The Safeguarding Minister fumbled to explain the new Section 60 extension of police stop and search powers to be introduced by the Government. Rachel Maclean failed to outline key details of the new policing policy as she was blasted by LBC’s Nick Ferrari. Mr Ferrari asked: “How much time is a Section 60 in force?” Ms Maclean replied: “I think it depends on the particular intelligence in that area, it has to be renewed.
She continued: “I think the time is 12 hours but it has to be renewed on a proportionate basis when the intelligence is reviewed.
“Clearly, when the risk is no longer there, then the Section 60 will no longer be there.”
Mr Ferrari paused before he said: “But it’s not 12 hours is it? That’s one of the new factors isn’t it? It’s 24 hours isn’t it?”
Ms Maclean apologised: “Oh forgive me – 24 hours, sorry. I need another coffee.”
Mr Ferrari continued to correct the Safeguarding Minister: “Oh ok and it wasn’t 12 hours prior to that was it, Minister? It was 15, wasn’t it?”
Ms Maclean agreed: “Yeah, so there have been changes”
Mr Ferrari clarified: “So it wasnt 12, it was 15 and now it’s 24.
“What happens if the police then apply to an inspector, then seek an extension, for a superintendent? What happens then – how far can it be extended?”
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“There is another time period, which I’m sure you’ve got in front of you,” Ms Maclean argued.
Mr Ferrari replied: “I’m sure you have too because you’re the minister who has been briefed for this, I’m merely the journalist asking the questions
“So I’ll put it to you again – obviously a superintendent needs to authorise the extension and from what hours does it go, from what to where? What hours are we talking about minister? You’re the person who is briefed.”
Ms Maclean responded: “So you’re talking about another extension period, so the point is that these are put in place in response to a specific threat -”
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Mr Ferrari interrupted to redirect the MP: “Yes, but what are the hours that a superintendent now can licence? I don’t think you know.”
Ms Maclean continued to dodge direct questions on the police power changes as she apologised for lacking “the papers in front of me.”
Section 60 powers will ease the requirements needed to justify police stop and search powers in an effort to tackle knife crime.
The introduction of the policy has been controversial as critics argue the reduction of restrictions will risk the police powers being exploited or misused by under-trained officers.
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