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back to article Plod offered SIM confiscation powers by Tories

Young people accused of anti-social behaviour could soon see their SIM cards summarily confiscated by police for up to a month, using new powers proposed by the Tories. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said yesterday that taking away access to mobile communications would "go right to the heart of what matters to a Nokia …

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Nokia generation?

Shows how out of touch he is!

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FAIL

Wha?

I'm trying to get the point in this: It doesn't seem like a logical punishment, or particularly effective, seeing as they can surely just call up their provider and get a new SIM shipped to them in a few days?

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Twaddle.

"The plans would grant front line police officers discretion in deciding whether to give "occasional miscreants... the twenty first century version of a clip around the ear".

So we will see a return to the ratio of plod to people of yesteryear? When the local plod lived among the people he policed - by consent - and knew world + dog personally?

Didn't think so.

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And that will work....how?

All it will do will cause said yoof to contact his mobile customer service department for a replacement sim. He could even tell them why it has been confiscated and they will still provide him with another one. It'll cost a tenner, but at least it will work again. That's assuming he hasnt got several on the go anyway like they all seem to.

I would also wonder at the legality of handing over a sim to a stranger given the potential for abuse. It is the same as giving them your credit card. Still, it is nice to see the government and coppers having absolutely no idea how it all works in real life. Soft bastards.

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Nasty party

Ah yes thanks for the reminder...

NewLab = Evil

Tory = Evil

Libdem = Pointless

Green???

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Anonymous Coward

Wire Tap 'em

Whilst the SIM's are in the plods hands, they can download all the numbers to McNulty and Freeman for future wire taps.

By the way, do the tories not know that you can pick up a new SIM card for £2.50?

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What a crap idea

You can order new sim cards off the net for free... lol

just a minor annoyance telling your friends your new mob number..

Nowt a quick text wouln`t fix

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Anonymous Coward

David Davies for Home Secretary

Chris Grayling making his offering to the all powerful rozzer lobby there. Out of his depth as Shadow Home Secretary, doesn't know what to do, reads the papers, does what the headlines tell him to do..... another lightweight blown about by newspaper headlines, just like his boss.

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Unhappy

Authoritarian [REDACTED]

Well, well. The Tory Shadow Home Secretary turns out to be an authoritarian [REDACTED]. So much for the Tories being the libertarian alternative to authoritarian New Labour.

Help us, Liberal Democrats. You're our only hope.

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New New Labour

Sounds like something stupid and pointless that the labour government would introduce. Besides, what about the logistics of it all? Will the police be given SIM safes? What if they loose one? What about protection of the data on the SIM?

I'm sure MPs get more stupid by the day.

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Unhappy

OMG

If that is the best the Tories can come up with then Deity save the UK.

A nice headline grabber with all the authority of robust considerations of positive and negative aspects of the proposal (it almost reminds me of Tony Blair).

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WTF?

At last..!

Summary justice meted out by the bullies. I mean police. How could I have gotten that wrong?

Way to not make people feel even further alienated from the government and criminal justice system.

</sarcasm>

Is it just me or are the Tories suffering from (group) multiple personality disorder?

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The required title

"The heart of what matters to a Nokia generation of young people" is the ability to misbehave without getting a clip round the ear from the aforementioned Plod. Now the T*ries want to make the yoofs remember every day for a month who took away their SIM card? Yeah, that'll help. And how is the government going to spy on the kids when they aren't using their phones?

How about promising to give the police powers to arrest MPs for fiddling expenses? Now /that/ would get them votes.

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So....

What's to stop them :

a) cloning their own SIM cards

b) reporting the SIM missing, and ordering a replacement?

To many workarounds, unless the government are also going to try to blacklist the SIM with the telco for that month....

Then you'll have the parent's saying "They need a phone for safety"....just wait for the first fight/accident where someone couldn't call for help....

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Interesting idea

On the face of it a good idea. But as your article makes clear, contacts are not normally stored on the SIM these days - so if the teens are allowed to keep their phones all they have to do is wonder into almost any newsagents and purchase a new SIM.

Confiscate the phone for a month and that will hurt them, so this leaves the "its the main contact the family has with the child".

I'd say if the family are that close, the child probably isn't going to fall foul of the law in the first place - but if it worries people have the kids phone the parents from the station - on their mobile - and tell the concerned family that they have the choice of paying a fine and allowing them to keep their phone, or be made aware that the phone is currently unavailable. Oh, and can I have 20 quid for a taxi please. ;-)

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Big Brother

sure...

and the part where the phone company supplies a replacement 10 minutes later? or are they going to get your phone number and account frozen at the provider as well?

the main thing about this news is the fact it's the tories now apparently copying the labour "human rights? what are they?" party line... and here was me thinking there was a possibility that after labours (dragged out) eviction from power we might finally have a chance to start heading back in the direction of freedom and democracy - anyone have any suggestions for where to move to? i was thinking the post-bush USA doesn't look too bad, and it has the benefit of being able to constantly remind yanks of the english language not being anything to do with them

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Bikes?

So the bikes, which they've probably nicked off someone, will be confiscated. Whoopie fucking doo - the yobs and juvie crims will be shaking in their boots at that threat.

What a fucking waste of time.

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Confiscate bikes and mobes from the ASBO type?

Surely they'll then just go and steal another one?

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Save contacts to phone memory...

...keep a couple of free PAYG SIM cards at home.

Right, next stupid policy idea to slap down in two minutes, please?

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How many additional 'missing person' reports will this generate

I would be well pissed if I was a parent who's child had their phone confiscated. If I couldnt get hold of my child, the police would be the first to know.

Any sanctions should have to go through due process. If that isnt quick enough for the plod then they need to speed up their processes.

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Big Brother

Just Great

When the police are handed powers and can act as judge and jury what exactly is the difference to being a police state ?

When given such arbitrary powers the police inevitably extend them as they see fit as part of 'The Police Can Do What They Bloody Well Like Act' as we are seeing with the ongoing harassment of terrori^W photographers.

What's worse is the move to giving draconian powers - on the spot fines particularly - to third-party little-Hitlers and jobsworths on litter watch and the like. With the recession and loss of jobs, it won't be too long before half the country is watching and punishing the other half.

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Coat

Better idea

Jsut confiscate there booze.

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Anonymous Coward

Youths

bring back conscription, or public service. The public want it, and the youth do as well.

The problem is the bloody lefty teachers, they have created a generation that cannot do anything.

Instead conscription and public service could be used to teach skills, the military is good at training and they can change their emphasis from just killing to other more subtle and useful training. Public service should be about supporting the local councils and reducing the council tax bills, whilst enabling the person to network with business.

Confiscating sim cards is not the way forward, treat the problem not the symptoms.

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Excellent Stuff

The Tories. Tough on media scapegoats. Tough on the causes of media scapegoats!

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Complete Tossers

Just confirmation (if any were needed) than in the complete tosser league the Tories are not far behind FuLab.

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WTF?

and this will stop them how ?

PAYG sim cards are free for a small top up. amd many providers will issue a replacement SIM in 24 hours for a very small fee.

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@Bloomberg

"to third-party little-Hitlers and jobsworths on litter watch and the like. With the recession and loss of jobs, it won't be too long before half the country is watching and punishing the other half."

It's true - many of those jumped up petty beaurocrats could do with a good public thrashing :)

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Overlooking the obvious?

Now I feel that someone somewhere has superbly not thought this through.

If you walk into any of the major operators stores they will give you a replacment SIM free of charge, better yet, they will assign that shiney new SIM to your old number in about 5 minutes. Problem solved.

Of course you'll have to give them some proof that you own the number, like the Phone number, maybe the address the bills are delivered to, you know that sort of stuff.

This is much like what happens when your SIM breaks, or you flush it down the toilet etc.

Don't think that the plod keeping it for a month will make a blind bit of difference from them youff crying "oi mister, got a 'nuver SIM card" to the nearest sales rep.

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Anonymous Coward

From my cold dead hand...

Ignoring that a new SIM is dirt cheap/free, and so are replacement phones, at what point are the Police allowed to take things off of people who aren't being arrested?

If I'm a drug dealer, I could expect my car and other things to be impounded whilst I'm waiting for my day in court, but if I'm found not guilty, I'd get my stuff back.

The shadow minister is clearly retarded. The real world isn't like school. I don't get a free lunch for starters.

If someone is breaking the existing laws or terms of their asbo using their phone, those same laws or terms should be used to fix the issue. We don't need/want yet more policies.

This country is going to drown under more unneccesary laws and guidelines...

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Don't the police have tasers these days?

I think that would be more effective.

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FAIL

teenagers and sim card

What teenager doesn't get a new SIM every few weeks anyway.... Used to get a text along the lines of "My new number is 07xxx xxx xxx" every few days when I was younger! Or even better - One2One sim is out of credit use my Orange number..... (ah, those were the days, when off-net meant somet)

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Stealing the babies' dummies.

Don't we need police to patrol first in order to achieve this?

Passing laws is great fun for MPs, but without police to enforce them their value is reduced to making headlines only.

Maybe they could try it out on my local Tory MP. According to his expense claims he can easily spend £1000 on mobile calls in a month.

Plenty time to do it as he seldom opens his mouth in the Commons. I'm sure you know him. He's the one who sits near the dear leader mouthing the big words silently to himself in dizzy admiration.

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Problems too numerous

A few minutes’ thought is all it takes to realise just how many problems there are with this. Adding to what’s been said, here are my five quickies.

1. How many years has it been since mobile handsets have come set to store all numbers and SMS messages in the handset’s memory by default?

2. Some mobile handsets have been sold with a SIM card glued in.

3. The networks pay you to take their pre-pay SIM cards. They post them to you, in multiples, for free, with a nominal positive account balance on each.

4. The SIM card doesn’t belong to the yoof. It remains the property of the network at all times.

5. A yoof receiving their now SIM-less mobile handset back from PC Plod won’t even be able to call 999 in an emergency.

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@AC: Liberal Democrats our only hope ?

That's a truly horrifying thought u have there, A.C. What about Superman ? the tooth fairy ? Jimmy Saville ? cleansing fire of atomic Armageddon ?

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Paris Hilton

Why does this sound like...

Something only the Daily Mail brigade would come up with?

Paris because she probably like's a daily male too...

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Bronze badge

ive had an idea

Throttle their broadband for a month !!!!

limit the amount of tv stations they can watch e.g. only BBC

limit the amount of texts they can send

Oh and for the people stating what if a fight broke out 999 calkls can be made without a SIM and even if the phone is locked (most phones that is not all)

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Gold badge

Also @AC Re: Lib Dems.

It's all right, we're not there yet.

We should give the Official Monster Raving Loony Party a chance before we resort to the mob from Wavering-under-Clegg.

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I hate titles!

All in all, it's just another policy that sounds like a good idea until you actually try and think about it being used in the real world. If the parents actually did it to their kids, it's a useful parenting tool, but the police doing it simply puts them up for a confrontation that could end up in either an arrest for a more serious offense, or a police officer being hurt.

We can already see the subtle cues that the Police are being overused, we've got officers arresting photographers left, right and centre, all as a result of government guidance. What this country really doesn't need is more police powers right now.

Why can't the people in charge see the the stick doesn't work? What we need is some carrots to go alongside the stick, give kids youth centres and internet cafes, on the basis if they cause too much trouble, they loose the privilage.

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@ someone 14.33

"5. A yoof receiving their now SIM-less mobile handset back from PC Plod won’t even be able to call 999 in an emergency."

They can dial 999 and 112 from a sim-less mobile. Try giving one to a child and waiting for the sirens!

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Flame

Oliver Twisted

Paying attention, Britards? When those of you who aren't infatuated with the idea of the Labour Party go and vote Tory in a sulk at the way it's all turned out, it'll just give you a helping of more of the same. If the politicians actually thought longer than their next term (and not about the directorship they've been offered, either) and set about dealing with the fundamental social and educational issues plaguing the state of the nation, maybe there wouldn't be the need to give out more arbitrary powers to law enforcement officers.

But the Britards do like their masters talking tough, especially when they can read all about them acting out that toughness, in a preferably kinky fashion, in the tabloids some time later.

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Paris Hilton

*headdesk*

'nuff said

Paris because even she would understand the inherent p*shness of this latest Tory twaddle

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WTF?

For f... sake

I thought we might see the back of State child like bullying in the next year or so, now I'm not so sure.

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"Accused"?

This will happen to anyone simply accused? (and simultaneously guilty of being a teenager).

So the "months of complex bureaucracy" they are avoiding is presumably the time taken if they were to do silly things like providing actual evidence that any crime has been committed?

And in ten years time, the police will be whinging and wailing and moaning that young adults conscripted onto juries assume as a matter of obvious fact that any policeman giving evidence is lying in his teeth until proven otherwise.

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Will no one think of the children^Wparents?

"But we do not offer any similar tools to those dealing with trouble outside school."

Uh ... Mr. Greyling, we have tools in place for that. They are known far and wide as "parents". Unfortunately, it sounds like the current crop of parents in the UK are tools in more than one meaning of the word. They deserve you and the rest of the government they have voted for. Or not bothered voting for, as the case may be.

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my only wonder

Is how long that copper would last if that were my sprog. This is downright stupid to tne nth degree. more police state is not more policing.

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Dim as a plan involving a turnip.

What a waste of space, this shadow of a man is, SIMs are designed to be replaceable, it isn't a dongle, or a key. This politician makes these dull miscreants look smarter than him, shame on him!

The more serious issue is, what lawful right do the police have to take private property off these individuals, unless it is as explicit security, for a _mutually agreed_ contract requiring the individuals better behaviour.

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brilliant reporting...

you forget to include chris graylings comment, which i think is quite relevant to some other commentards above. This is not intended to tackle the hardcore, that will go and steal another bike, phone, sim... whatever... this is intended to send a warning to kids before they get past repair! This current generation is done for. Take it from someone living in the middle of south london, the problem is too deep rooted for many to contemplate the basic issues behind this behaviour in the first place.

in all honesty this will only tackle the good kids stepping out of line occasionally and kids from a decent enough background that their parents carry on the punishment the police have started by taking away thier property for a month. they are guilty of something that would usually warrant a trip to the police station at least so this is way of saying next time you wont be so lucky. any parent that then gives the kid a brand new phone is effectively telling the kid dont worry the police are wrong, you were right. before you know it the kid is out causing hell again.

if the parent takes responsibility and then grounds the kids for 2 weeks / month the kids sure as hell arent going to act up again & again. or if they do, you process them through the legal system!

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Title

I love the way so many of you can still find a way of citicising Labour when this has fuck all to do with them.

Cretins.

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Boffin

Re: @ someone 14.33

SuperTim wrote, “They can dial 999 and 112 from a sim-less mobile.”

While the GSM standard allows handsets to make emergency calls without a SIM card, a network can refuse to set up the call. No UK network allows emergency calls without a SIM card. [1] Because it’s seen as increasing hoax or test calls, more countries are removing the facility. Germany changed to requiring a SIM card, at the start of this month. [2] The UK doesn’t even have national roaming for emergency calls. [3] If you can get a signal from another network but not from your home network, it’s tough.

[1] http://www.redcross.org.uk/standard.asp?id=91109 (Answer 5)

[2] http://www.handelsblatt.com/technologie/mobile-welt/kein-notruf-ohne-sim-karte-mehr;2389707 (in German)

[3] http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about/accoun/reports_plans/annrep0809/empower/ (§ An emergency roaming mobile service)

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WTF?

"Conscription"

@AC "bring back conscription, or public service. The public want it, and the youth do as well."

Yeah right. I've always believed that the youth of today need more experience and training in hand to hand combat and firearms. Tw*t.

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