Ahead of today’s Senedd debate on the Legislative Consent Motion for the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is currently going through Westminster, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their opposition to large sections of the Bill calling them “dangerous and draconian”.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:
“For far too long, the Conservatives have been trying to give the impression they are tough on crime, yet have cut police officers across the country and failed to focus on prevention and address the causes of crime.
“Large sections of this Bill fail to address the failings of previous Government policy and legislation and reinforce discriminatory and ineffective measures, including stop and search.
“Vast swathes of the 300 page Bill are destructive and undermine laws designed to protect people like the Mental Capacity Act, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Public Order Act. It is yet the latest in a long line of destructive attacks on the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act by this Conservative Government.
“The right to peaceful assembly and protest is a fundamental human right and has always been a crucial part of our democratic society. Threatening to weaken people’s ability to challenge the Government is the act of dictators and despots, not democrats.
“This Senedd was founded on the basis of transparency, accountability, of equality, and broad participation in society and our democracy – this Bill strikes at the heart of those principles and this Senedd should refuse consent for this dangerous and draconian Bill. It also highlights why justice needs to be devolved to Wales.”
Commenting on the 14 defeats to the Government on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in the House of Lords last night, Former Deputy First Minister and Welsh Lib Dem Assembly Member Baroness Jenny Randerson said:
“I am extremely glad the House of Lords voted down the draconian elements of this legislation last night.
“The right to protest is not just about the large protests you see on your TV, but also your right to protest against your local school or A&E shutting. It is an essential part of society for us all, no matter where you sit on the political spectrum.”