Tuesday, 23 December 2008

NETCU - a waste of time and money

Monbiot's article has prompted me to have a look at the NETCU website. "The National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) promotes a coordinated response to domestic extremism" proudly states the opening paragraph. Monbiot details the case of a university lecturer trying to get his name removed from a publication by NETCU after he protested against the destruction of Radley Lakes, but perhaps an equally bizarre story exists by looking at their newsfeed.

Four arrested for leafleting: Ok, it was despicable stuff they were distributing - but surely this is not a headline event from the NETCU?

Street Collector Jailed for Fraud: He nicked four grand. The NETCU are proud to have played their part in his capture. Is this the best they can do?

Two convicted of tresspass: Now it's getting serious.

Of course they also have the padlock and knives found 'in woodland outside the climate camp' and still claim that they were to be used against Kingsnorth, despite no evidence to substantiate this.

We have thousands being killed on the roads each day, thousands of children going missing, obscene profits made by the few at the expense of the many, real fraud (not £4k), abuse, hate crimes and so on. Disband NETCU now and put the resources where they will make a difference.

2 comments:

Bernard said...

Be fair, they've bagged, or help bag, some animal rights extremists. Actually no, I think you're right, they're a waste of money. They indicate to me that the ordinary police aren't doing their job properly (possibly through no fault of their own), and that the system as a whole is floundering, disorganised, perhaps just too big.

Back to the animal rights "extremists"; Gregg Avery et al from SHAC were, as far as I can work out, sent to prison merely for running a website. The website is still up and running, and does not condone or encourage any criminal activity. It merely points out that Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) conduct nasty, probably unnecessary, and scientifically dubious experiments on animals. SHAC asks people to politely request that HLS customers stop doing business with them.

I heard a report of the SHAC trial on Radio 4, and read about it in The Telegraph. Both reports seemed at first listen/read to say that Avery et al had blackmailed, threatened etc. directly. They had not. It seems "persons unknown" broke the law in various ways, and pronounced themselves supporters of SHAC, and this was enough to convict Avery et al of "conspiracy to blackmail". Sentences ranging from 4-11 years.

Please, someone tell me I've got the facts wrong. If I haven't then I think NETCU is not only a waste of resources, but are political police force designed to suppress freedom of expression and information and defend the interests of the wealthy and powerful.

Stuart Jeffery said...

Bernard,

thanks for your comments. I will clearly need to look into SHAC a bit more - stuff for a future blog entry.

Stuart