According to a Home Office press release, John Reid wants to bring in new "swift justice" which will include being able to evict homeowners and board their home up for unspecified periods on the basis of exceptionally vague circumstances. According to the Consultation paper, there is a desire to have closure orders for properties which include
"excessive noise and rowdy behaviour, frequent drunken parties, high numbers of people entering and leaving the premises at all times of the day or night".The document goes on to imply that any children living in a premises that is closed will be taken into care.
I can't deny the proposals bother me. There does seem to be a rather worrying tendency in the Government these days to actually openly argue for summary powers to be legitimised in the hands of those outside the court system as if it is a "good" thing. What's more, opposition, of any sort, finds itself portrayed as "soft" on crime.
In that sense the proposals have the double-whammy characteristic of being objectional increases in summary state power, whilst simultaneously closing down the principled debating position which opposes them. It's actually quite bizarre I think given that those in power talk about something called the "centre ground".