I’m sorry but I really had to reply to Steve Cattell this week: Mr Cattell needs to read up on his common law before quoting it in the Journal.
I’m quite shocked that he doesn’t actually understand what a breach of the peace is.
The term breach of the peace is not as Mr Cattell suggests: it’s not a law that empowers the police to lock up street drinkers who “harangue passers by with filth and swearing” as he so politely put it.
The common law offence of a breach of the peace exists to prevent unlawful violence against people or property, not to simply remove people from the street who may offend your eyes and ears.
And yes, all citizens, not just the police, are able to make an arrest to stop or prevent a breach of the peace. So, with this in mind I’m sure Mr Cattell will be keen to take the lead and start making arrests.
Though, let’s hope not by using his interpretation of the offence, as although I’m sure it would make great reading for his column, it’s more likely to feature in the courts pages when he’s sued for an unlawful arrest.
I can only assume he raises the point of PCSOs using this power to somehow try and discredit what they do?
Grantham is lucky to have some excellent PCSOs who work tremendously hard for the good of the town. Their work is often unappreciated and scrutinised, and it’s a shame really because it’s quite unjust.