We live in times of heightened public anxiety over risks in private and in public space, but how far should we go in terms of curtailing the freedoms we enjoy to ensure our security? This is a fundamental question for society as whole, yet there is little time to reflect on it – not least for those involved in policing, who must respond to pressing needs and threats. The expansion and strengthening of counter-terrorism legislation is one area in which the police if affected by the tension between liberty and security, as is the tightening of safeguarding procedures in respond to sexual abuse.
Given the complexity of this issue, and the strong and conflicting feelings and opinions it can provoke, our 37th annual police conference, 'Freedom Restrained? Public Protection, Risk and Policing' (20 - 22 April 2018), provides a rare opportunity for informed discussion and reflection on the role the police play in protecting citizens from harm, and how this should be balanced against safeguarding fundamental human rights.
The conference briefing covers key issues such as:
Section 1: Police power and terrorism
Section 2: The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and the regulation of electronic surveillance
Section 3: Safeguarding mechanisms for child protection
Section 4: The management of violent and sexual offenders for public protection
Section 5: Key issues to consider
Section 6: Conclusion