Isle of Man criminal Justice bill 'not needed'

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A new criminal justice bill, which could transform policing in the Isle of Man, is "not needed", according to a civil rights campaigner.

Tristram Llewellyn Jones said the proposed changes could compromise public trust in the constabulary.

A government spokesman said the bill would modernise the system and allow the police to do a more effective job.

But Mr Llewellyn added: "We have the lowest crime rate in the British Isles so why do we need more police powers?"

He added: "What is the case for increasing the powers of the police when, on the face of it, they are achieving a good result with their existing powers?

"The overall issue is one of public trust - if you give the police too much power then you have to be concerned that people will not be as confident approaching them.

"I think we need to keep the community policing model we already have in place, the Isle of Man police are doing very well at the moment in this regard."

The Criminal Justice Bill, which includes six chapters, covers police powers, licensing, sex and drug offences, public order and other issues.

Julian Lalor-Smith, from the Isle of Man department of home affairs, said: "We are not introducing anything on the island which hasn't already been introduced in the UK. There are checks and balances all the way to make sure this legislation is human rights compliant."

A number of public meetings have been arranged by the government to discuss the implications of bringing in the bill.

They will be held in Peel on 11 July, Ramsey Town Hall on 17 July, Onchan on 18 July and Castletown on 19 July.

The criminal justice bill can be viewed online.

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