Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain has been pushing for power to extend the time period in which “suspected terrorists” so they can be detained up to 42 days. Some of Britain’s senior police officers broke ranks with their colleagues by denouncing these plans. Four senior police officers told the Guardian they had concerns regarding the new legislation among which were:
1. It would damage relations with Muslim communities from whom intelligence it counter terrorism is needed.
2. It would pressure police officers to obtain “evidence” any way they could in order to prove the detention was a valid one.
3. It damages the integrity of the police by placing them in a position where they might interfere in the rights of detainees.
A police officer, Rob Beckley went public with his concerns in a speech to a Muslim Safety Forum conference a few weeks ago when he said: “I, and know other chief officers, do not see the necessity of 42 days; we c an see the desirability, but at this stage I do not see the professional necessity.”
Rumors are flying around Parliament that a defeat for Prime Minister Brown on this controversial bill might lead to his resignation and replacement by another member of the Labor Party.