Here's five links for you. I request that you go and read them all, then come back and see what I've mumbled into the keyboard.
After reading that lot, please check to see if you're spitting feathers. If you aren't, then please, give your head a shake. Wake up, and notice what's going on around you.
So, link 1 - Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary wants your local council staff, and all sorts of random quangos and agencies, to have the "right to search homes, seize cash, freeze bank accounts and confiscate property". If anyone who isn't a warranted police officer even thinks about searching my home, seizing my cash, freezing my bank account, or confiscating any of my property, they had better be ready for the fight of their lives. The Proceeds of Crime Act is bloody stupid enough as it is. Any law which states a policeman can stop you, and, if he finds you carrying more than £1000 in cash, and he decides that he isn't happy with your reasons for carrying the cash, can confiscate it, is bollocks. When you extend this power to any Tom, Dick and Harry (let's call them "outer party members" for now), I can only imagine the crap that they will get up to, especially when there is a financial incentive for them, as they get to keep a portion of the proceeds.
"But Mat", I hear you say, "it's the "Proceeds of Crime Act", it will only ever be used against the nasty criminals".
"Bullshit, my friend", you hear me retort.
Remember the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act? "Don't worry" we were told. "It's only so we can spy on those evil nasty terrorists" we were told. Oh, that's alright then, I'm sure that no local councils will use it to snoop on dog walkers suspected of not scooping their dog's poopings. It would be ridiculous to think that a council might use the RIPA to make sure that parents have enrolled their child in the correct school. The mere idea that councils would misuse the powers granted to them under RIPA for something as trivial as making sure that people aren't putting their bins out a day early should be laughed all the way back to the sick mind it came from.
So yeah, if you think for just one minute that your local council, who also has a financial incentive to use the PoCA to seize cash and possessions, is only going to use it against criminals, then I commend you for your naivety.
The fact that this is being pushed through parliament via a statutory instrument, so there is no debate on the matter is enough to make my piss boil.
Right, links two to five: You know what, it's late, I'm tired, and I'm not sure my blood pressure can take it.
I think you can guess what my opinions are. I think I can distill my views down to three words.
Leave. Us. Alone.