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    2007-09-25

    Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
    The Act amends the Public Order Act 1986 by creating new offences of stirring up hatred against persons on religious grounds and amends section 24A of PACE Act 1984 so that the powers of citizens arrest do not apply to the offences of stirring up religious and racial hatred.

    The new offences relate to a wide range of communication. For each offence the words, behaviour, written material, recordings or programmes must be threatening and intended to stir up religious hatred.

    Religious hatred is defined as hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief.

    Freedom of Expression
    The offences of stirring up religious hatred are not intended to limit or restrict discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule or insult or abuse of particular religions or belief systems or lack of religion or of the beliefs and practices of those who hold such beliefs or to apply to proselytisation (converting), evangelism or the seeking to convert people to a particular belief or to cease holding a belief.

    No prosecution for the offences of stirring up religious hatred shall proceed without the consent of the Attorney General.

    The maximum penalty for a conviction for an offence of stirring up religious hatred is seven years in prison.

    Violent Crime Reduction Act2006
    Section 36 makes it an offence to manufacture, import or sell realistic imitation firearms. Section 37 makes it a defence to show that the sale etc was for the purposes of a museum or gallery; for theatre, film or TV productions; for historical re-enactment; or for Crown service. There is also a defence for businesses who import realistic imitation firearms for the purpose of modifying them so that they are no longer realistic

    The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (Realistic Imitation Firearms) Regulations 2007 make provision in connection with the realistic imitation firearms provisions (sections 36 to 38) in respect of defences, burden of proof historical re-enactments, size and colours.

    Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
    A new Code of Practice under RIPA provides guidance on the procedures to be followed when acquisition of communications data takes place under sections 21 -25 of the Act.

    Investigation of electronic data protected by encryption
    A new Code of Practice provides guidance to be followed when exercising powers under sections 49 - 56 of the Act to require disclosure of protected electronic information (electronic data) in an intelligible form or to acquire the means by which protected electronic information may be accessed or put in an intelligible form.

    Road Safety Act 2006
    This Act mainly makes changes to other legislation. Note particularly changes to the Road Traffic Act 1988, section 172 (failing to identify the driver), section 15 (rear seatbelts for children:increased penalty), section 163 (Police power to stop vehicles:increased penalty), section 3 (Careless Driving:increased penalty) section 3A (Failure to give permission for laboratory test on specimen of blood)

    Police Operational Handbook
    The 2007/08 edition of the Police Operational Handbook will be published on 24 October at a price of £21.95. This pocket-sized guide is an invaluable source of information whether out on the beat or when studying for promotion. If you are studying for examinations, please don't forget that PNLD is available on annual subscription via the internet at the reduced rate of £50 for students. From our Homepage at www.pnld.co.uk, just click on the Registration tab and complete the details requested.


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