Law Society slams plans for UK ‘FBI’ agency

The Law Society has criticised government proposals to introduce an “FBI-style” agency to fight organised crime.

The society says increased police powers, coupled with the Serious Organised Crime Agency – both announced in the Queen’s Speech this morning (23 November) – will compromise the liberty of the individual.

Among potential developments which concern the Law Society are the possibility of police having the power to arrest people for all offences, and compulsory DNA testing or finger printing for those suspected of an offence.

Janet Paraskeva, the society’s chief executive, said that the government is in “serious danger of overstating” threats to national security and public order, and warned against taking steps in the direction of a police state.

The Queen also said that a draft bill to introduce the offence of corporate manslaughter will be published. Last year the government was criticised for not including such a proposal in the 2003 Queen’s Speech.