Having read the transcript posted on the Libertarian Party blog, Young Mister Brown is, I think, being somewhat charitable when he opines that "One gets the impression that our the police don't really know what they are allowed to do". In fact, I think that he's wrong.
I think that the police, having been caught out by someone with knowledge of one law, tried—deliberately—to cycle through various laws to achieve their aim. In other words, these police officers were not upholding the law—they are, deliberately and with malice aforethought, attempting to use the law to enforce their personal agenda.
I won't argue that there are way too many laws—memo to Our New Coalition Overlords™: the Great Repeal Act cannot come quickly enough, nor can it be too comprehensive—but in this case I believe that the police (who are, in many cases, responsible for the number of laws, having lobbied hard for their enactment) are simply acting as corrupt, thuggish bullies.
Effectively, these policemen are trying to make the law up as they go along.
Quite obviously, however, the police cannot protect citizens by upholding the law if:
- they do not know what the law is, and
- if they don't give a shit anyway.
To remedy this important situation, there are three things that Our New Coalition Overlords™ need to do immediately:
- Enact the Great Repeal Bill, ensuring that it cuts away at least 90% of the nearly 4,000 new offences introduced by NuLabour.
- Bring in the promised elected police chiefs, so that local people can decide what they want their local police force to focus on—speeding or murders, photography or robbery?
- Stop paying £10 million every single year to the Association of Chief Police Officers, a privately-owned lobbying company that "leads and coordinates the direction and development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland" and, as part of this tremendously vital work, has just decided to splash out £500,000 of our money on a champagne gala.
That will be an excellent start: after that, we can start prosecuting officers who attempt to overstep the bounds of their authority and of the law by, for instance, trying to detain, illegally, people who are taking photographs...