Some things never change at the Home Office

Today, the Government opposed amendments to the Protections of Freedoms Bill that would have required officials to secure a warrant to enter our homes – except in cases involving national security, trading standards and child protection.

How has the Government responded? A promise for a two-year review.

Apparently “ministers remained committed to protecting homeowners’ rights and freedoms.”

Sadly, actions speak louder than words. It is beyond belief that a Conservative Home Office Minister is so blatantly trying launch this issue into the long grass.

Two years of hand wringing will not change the fact that there are already more than 1,000 laws that give public officials the rights to enter our homes without a warrant. We do not need a consultation to decide that suspecting unregulated hypnotism is going on or extreme comics are being read should not give officials the right to barge into our homes.

In opposition the Conservatives pledged that apart from the police and emergency services, public bodies would require a magistrates warrant to enter a home. The Home Office may have had a change of ministers, but it seems little else has changed and the general public are left high and dry, at the mercy of an army of pen-pushers who can enter our homes as they please.

And for those in any doubt that this is anything less than a total and utter kop-out, the Conservative Party’s Quality of Life Manifesto had this to say on the issue of non-police officials having the power to enter your home without a warrant:

“A Conservative government will cut back the intrusive powers of entry into homes. Public bodies (other than the police and emergency services) will require a magistrates’ warrant, and approval for such a warrant will be restricted to tackling serious criminal offences or protecting public safety. Labour plans to give bailiffs powers of forced entry into homes to collect civil debts will be revoked.”