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4 UK Urban Explorers Face Orders Not To Talk With Each Other For 10 Years

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-proud-we-are-of-all-of-them dept.

Communications 387

First time accepted submitter Trapezium Artist writes "Four friends apprehended exploring the disused Aldwych station in London's Underground are faced with an 'anti-social behaviour order' (ASBO) which would forbid them from talking to each other for a full 10 years. The so-called 'Aldwych four,' experienced urban explorers, were discovered in the tunnels under the UK's capital city a few days before last year's royal wedding and the greatly increased security measures in place led to their being interviewed by senior members of the British Transport Police. Nevertheless, once their benign intentions had been established, they were let off with a caution. However, following an accident caused by another, unrelated group of urban explorers in the tunnels a few months later, Transport for London applied to have ASBOs issued to the Aldwych four. These would forbid them from any further expeditions, from blogging or otherwise publicly discussing any exploits, and even from talking with each other for the 10 year duration of the order. One could argue about the ethics of urban exploration, but this nevertheless seems like an astonishingly heavy-handed over-reaction by TfL."

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387 comments

Apple sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162661)

jo_ham is a sockpuppet account of that Apple fag bonch. He takes nigger cock up his ass.

Re:Apple sucks (-1, Offtopic)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162689)

He takes nigger cock up his ass

I think if you are taking cock up your ass, the last thing you care about is what color it is.

Re:Apple sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162867)

jo_ham AKA bonch prefers a nigger cock because he likes the contrast of the thick dark dick sliding in and out of his gaping pink anus.

Re:Apple sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162965)

He takes nigger cock up his ass

I think if you are taking cock up your ass, the last thing you care about is what color it is.

Are you saying that all male homosexuals are promiscuous and undiscriminating?

They can't discuss at all, or just in the UK? (4, Interesting)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162667)

I'd imagine there'd be a way to comply with the heavy-handed order while having a venue that is out of reach of the ASBO.

Indirect communication, human rights (4, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162951)

I'd imagine there'd be a way to comply with the heavy-handed order while having a venue that is out of reach of the ASBO.

Can they communicate indirectly, via mutual friends?

If not, then since they likely have a number of mutual friends, they are effectively being told not to communicate with anyone who communicates with others in the affected group. After all, what if a mutual friend mentions something one of the other members of the affected group said? How about indirect communication via two degrees of separation? If they are forbidden from indirect contact, then the order is perilously close to requiring solitary confinement or other drastic social exclusion.

An exclusion which prohibits communication with mutual friends is likely a good test case for the ECJ [wikipedia.org] or the ECHR [wikipedia.org] . Similarly, an order which imposes an onerous obligation on mutual friends which were not subjects of the order, would be a good test case for said mutual friends to bring to the ECJ or ECHR.

Re:Indirect communication, human rights (4, Interesting)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163009)

Reminds me of a story by Will Self called 'Between the Conceits', the first in the book Grey Area [wikipedia.org] . In it, all of London is controlled by just 7 people, who communicate with each other by elaborate mass orchestration of mundane movements of the other Londoners.

I stretch, then relax - and 33,665 white-collar workers leave their houses a teensy bit early for work. This means the 6,014 of them will feel dyspeptic during the journey because they've missed their second piece of toast, or bowl of Fruit 'n' Fibre. From which it followed that 2,982 of them will be testy through the morning; and therefore 312 of them will say the wrong thing, leading to dismissal; hence one of these 312 will lose the balance of his reason and commit an apparently random and motiveless murder on the way home.

Hmm. Don't think I can really explain this with one quote. The first chapter is readable here [issuu.com] .

Re:They can't discuss at all, or just in the UK? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163025)

The order would be placed on them, so it is in effect wherever they are - unless they remain outside of UK jurisdiction until no one cares about the violation anymore.

So it's like a restraining order for friends? (5, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162669)

I don't think anyone has been told who they can and can't be friends with since they were about 10. Now the government gets to decide? Alan Moore is a prophet.

Re:So it's like a restraining order for friends? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162843)

Not married I take it ;p

Re:So it's like a restraining order for friends? (5, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162939)

The point of an ASBO is that magistrates can basically make up a law on the spot and announce that it applies to just a few people.

In theory, it's meant to deal with small numbers - maybe as few as one - of people that are known to cause trouble by making it illegal for them to do things that would normally be perfectly OK because most people would be able to apply some common sense - but in their case aren't. Essentially it gives some flexibility when you've got someone who's discovered a way of persistently annoying people but can usually stay on the right side of the law. The BBC picked up some good examples [bbc.co.uk] a few years ago.

Critics have pointed out that it's absolutely ripe for abuse.

No. (5, Insightful)

Jmanamj (1077749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162671)

I swear to God. This is the premise for a fiction/science fiction novel. If two of the 4 were developing romantic feelings for each other the UK could be sued for copyright infringement by several publishers. I dont...I dont think I'm OK with the world right now. I need a hug. Before that's banned too.

Re:No. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162697)

I need a hug. Before that's banned too.

You can have your hug, as long as it's from a paid prostitute.

On another note; does UK law take intent into account?

Re:No. (3, Informative)

ybanrab (2556762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162837)

Yes it does, you need a guilty mind and a guilty act to constitute a crime.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intention_in_English_law [wikipedia.org]

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162967)

Except that mens rea can be established via intention, recklessness or mere knowledge of a set of events. Obvious examples of the latter include walking around with a knife - the only way in which your mind was guilty was that you knew you were carrying a knife. But there are more insidious laws. For example, from 2001 it has been a criminal offence to either not notify the DWP of "relevant" changes of circumstances or to allow others not do so, even though the relevance can only be determined after the fact in terms of how the DWP would have treated that information.

And while there is the presumption in reading a statute that a guilty mind is required, this can be overridden by wording which suggests otherwise. You have two outcomes: (i) that mens rea is read into a statute in some very contorted way - for example, dangerous driving is an offence worded entirely in terms of how a good driver would view your driving, so the only thought required from the offender is to know that they are driving; or (ii) the offence is simply regarded as "strict liability", which is another way of saying that Parliament intended for no guilty mind to be necessary as the actus is so heinous to public policy that people should be punished merely for not following the rule.

Re:No. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162721)

The world has never been so kind as this before. Grow up.

Are they serious? (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162675)

They were let off with a warning, but some bozo expects to issue a court order demanding that a group of friends NOT EVEN TALK TO EACH OTHER for a DECADE?

WTF?

I mean, seriously, WTF?!?!?!?!

Re:Are they serious? (5, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162729)

It's almost as if Transport for London were engaged in.... anti-social behaviour.

Re:Are they serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162761)

It's almost as if Transport for London were engaged in.... anti-social behaviour.

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Re:Are they serious? (4, Funny)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162803)

almost? I take it you have not attempted to drive around the North Circular any time in the last 3 years?

Re:Are they serious? (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162995)

Will someone please apply to put the relevant people in the TfL under an ASBO?

Attempting to force 4 friends not to talk to each other for 10 years is anti-social behaviour.

Re:Are they serious? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162831)

Welcome to the UK. Pretty much everyone is a criminal by default and the game is simply to stay ahead of the police.

Re:Are they serious? (-1, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162987)

Welcome to the UK. Pretty much everyone is a criminal by default and the game is simply to stay ahead of the police.

Unless you're a Muzzie, when its even legal for you to throw shoes at police [telegraph.co.uk] . The UK has gone crazy, native British not allowed to do anything whereas groups who's avowed intent is to destroy freedom and democracy and set up a primative theocracy are given rights to do pretty-much what they like

Unenforceable? (4, Insightful)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162679)

I may be completely missing the point here, but this ruling seems completely unenforceable. How do you stop four friends talking to each other if they are not incarcerated? There are a hundred and one ways to talk to people in this modern age and many of those are anonymous and not easily tracked or monitored.

This just seems like one of those sentences which is "harsh" to make a point but doesn't actually make any difference to how these men will communicate. That said, it's also completely ridiculous that these people with no ill intent were made such an example of, and that they were given a punishment which is illogical and far too much trouble than it's worth to enforce.

Re:Unenforceable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162703)

I wonder if they explicitly wrote talking.

Re:Unenforceable? (4, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162709)

How do you stop four friends talking to each other if they are not incarcerated?

You stop them by threatening to incarcerate them if they break the order. Add in a dash of behind the scenes, off the record, "if any of you violate this order, we'll be very nice to any of the others that report it to us" and you have a winning combination.

Re:Unenforceable? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162731)

It's still breaking and entering. Call it urban exploring or whatever, but tresspassing is still illegal.

Re:Unenforceable? (4, Interesting)

pacc (163090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162747)

We forbid you to do forbidden things,
And when you do it you can' t tell anyone,
And tell us immediately if you do it,
Because you will, won't you

Re:Unenforceable? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162801)

It's still breaking and entering. Call it urban exploring or whatever, but tresspassing is still illegal.

And the punishment should fit the crime.
They could have tried them, they chose to only issue a warning. Attempting to upgrade the penalties without filing additional charges is not justice.

Re:Unenforceable? (3, Insightful)

hopelessliar (575886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162835)

It's still breaking and entering. Call it urban exploring or whatever, but tresspassing is still illegal.

Obviously, I haven't read TFA, but the summary says nothing about breaking and entering. Trespassing is a very different thing. IANAL but I think you'll find that in the UK if you're caught trespassing - assuming you haven't done anything else 'criminal' - then the first redresss of the property owner is to ask you to leave. As long as you comply with that request, there is no crime.

I could google this and checl my facts but it's Sunday morning, I just got up and it's far easier to just write something I vaguely recall as though it were definitely true - which, by the way, I think it is.

Re:Unenforceable? (4, Interesting)

Will_TA (549461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162853)

To get there you have to go over the active tracks, on the underground. Trespass on the tracks, past any notice that forbids it is a criminal offence under byelaws.

Re:Unenforceable? (3, Funny)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162875)

Are byelaws the sort of laws that bid you farewell as you're carried off to prison?

(I'm in the United States, you insensitive clod!)

Re:Unenforceable? (5, Informative)

amck (34780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163015)

Bylaws are local council ( or in this case transport authority) laws.
Fines can be levied, etc. but they cannot be criminally prosecuted : the local authority can bring you to court, but not criminal court; for that a case has to be prepared by the police for the Director of Public Prosecutions (an independent prosecutor).

Re:Unenforceable? (3, Insightful)

r1348 (2567295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162845)

It's breaking and entering long time abandoned structures that nobody cares about, and for no malicious intentions. Alright, give them a fine if you catch them, but this orwellian ASBO order is way beyond reasonable. Now governments have the right to regulate and forbid social interactions? I'm not very accustomed to British law: how common are these ASBOs, and what is their typical use case?

Re:Unenforceable? (5, Informative)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162879)

It's still breaking and entering. Call it urban exploring or whatever, but tresspassing is still illegal.

If there was any breaking involved then it might be, but if they didn't break in then it generally isn't.

In London there are a large numbers of squatters occupying various empty buildings. While it is illegal to break in. it isn't illegal to enter and live there if the building isn't secure. They can even install their own locks. Yes an owner can apply to the court to remove squatters but until the court issues an order they can stay. I believe that if someone occupies a place for five years then they can even get ownership (take that with a pinch of salt).

Asbo's on the other hand do not need a law to be broken to be applied for and granted. Currently there are Asbo's being served on homeless people in order to be able to remove them from central london in time for the olympic games later this year, (this I know from a lawyer trying to represent one of said homeless people).

Re:Unenforceable? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162733)

You incarcerate them when you catch them breaking the ruling. ASBOs are a huge end-run around due process, being civil orders that are written with the intention that they'll be broken so that criminal penalties can be applied.

I remember this government admitting that ASBOs didn't work and promising to do something about them, but nothing seems to have changed.

Re:Unenforceable? (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162787)

This is why the ASBO is and has always been a foul addition to British law.

Someon is doing something not illegal, but deemed anti-social, they can be issued with an anti-social-behaviour-order to constrain their activities. Even if the order tries to stop them doing something completely legal, they can be fined or imprisoned fro breaking it. It's a horrific abuse of the law, I just hope that sooner or later someone takes this through to the ECHR and gets the whole ASBO scheme shut down.

Someone asked me the other day about why I hated the labour party in the UK. That ASBOs were introduced on their watch is something I forgot at the time, it'll be in there next time someone asks me.

Re:Unenforceable? (-1, Flamebait)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162847)

Someone asked me the other day about why I hated the labour party in the UK. That ASBOs were introduced on their watch is something I forgot at the time, it'll be in there next time someone asks me.

along with the other 5000 odd laws that were brought in under that bunch of bastards. They most certainly started the slow creep of the nanny state and the fucking tories are going to finish it as the tories started it in the 80's under that nasty old bitch thatcher and labour just kept the ball rolling.
if you think the tories of the liberals will do anything to change it then you are waaaay off the marlkbr> thank fuck Scotland will be independent soon and we can let westminster so Scots can be rid of this bullshit. At least in Scotland we have the Scottish National party who do actually give a fuck about Scotland.

Re:Unenforceable? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162947)

You think the SNP care about Scotland? No, they are politicians who a want to go down in history as having achieved indendance and b) increase their own power by removing power from Westminster. If you think it is anything to do with what is right for Scotland you are a fool.

Re:Unenforceable? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162981)

thank fuck Scotland will be independent soon and we can let westminster so Scots can be rid of this bullshit.

Yeah, being run from Brussels will be so much better.

Re:Unenforceable? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163005)

They most certainly started the slow creep of the nanny state

"Nanny" state? This sounds more like a wicked stepmotherstate to me.

Re:Unenforceable? (1)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163027)

I wouldn't say that Labour kept the ball rolling, I'd say they did everything in their power to go far beyond what Thatcher started:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/blairs-frenzied-law-making--a-new-offence-for-every-day-spent-in-office-412072.html [independent.co.uk]

I'm looking forward to Scottish independence, no really I am. I'm Irish, but living in England, if the majority of the country want to be independent, then they should be. The benefit for England will be that they won't have a bunch of MPs voting on things that will never affect their own constituents.

Re:Unenforceable? (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162869)

There are a hundred and one ways to talk to people in this modern age and many of those are anonymous and not easily tracked or monitored.

Ah, but the *individuals themselves* are relatively easy to track & monitor. Besides, I'm sure that if the government is willing to inflict such an Orwellian and illogical/impractical punishment in the first place, I'm sure that, if one or more of these people begin using some anonymous communication method, the government would be more than willing to prohibit them from legally engaging in anonymous communication.

This just seems like one of those sentences which is "harsh" to make a point but doesn't actually make any difference to how these men will communicate. That said, it's also completely ridiculous that these people with no ill intent were made such an example of, and that they were given a punishment which is illogical and far too much trouble than it's worth to enforce.

No surprise. What else would one expect from an authoritarian police state? That's what the UK has become, with the US hot on it's heels in a race to see which country can remove the most privacy, rights, & freedoms from their citizens the fastest.

It's what has always happened throughout history when a government grows too large and powerful. But of course, anyone suggesting smaller government in either nation is painted as a lunatic-fringe extremist that hates the poor, and is probably a racist to boot.

Those pushing for total government power and control over a helpless, powerless, and dependent-on-government-for-basic-survival population see their goals figuratively only inches away from fruition, while citizens who are intelligent and engaged enough to see what's happening and value their and their children's continuing and future freedom are awakening and rising up in opposition.

Hang on boys and girls, because it's going to get VERY nasty and bloody in the next few years in both the UK and the US.

Strat

Re:Unenforceable? (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162889)

But of course, anyone suggesting smaller government in either nation is painted as a lunatic-fringe extremist that hates the poor, and is probably a racist to boot.

E.g., "Derp, herp, why dontcha just move to Somalia if you want a libertarian paradise, herp, derp"

Re:Unenforceable? (2)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162935)

Nice straw man you've got there.

There is nothing wrong with a smaller government, the administrative bit of the public sector has been out of control in the western world for years. But we don't have to abolish the government entirely or make it completely bare-bones as libertarians apparently want. What we need are more nurses and teachers, and a lot fewer administrators and bean counters.

The staunch opposition to hard-line libertarianism concerns the utopia of the all-correcting "free market", which WILL quite effectively oppress the poor and those without money and power.

Re:Unenforceable? (5, Informative)

Lunar_Lamp (976812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162955)

This is not a ruling. A court hasn't applied this ASBO, it's just TFL requesting it.

Re:Unenforceable? (4, Informative)

cardpuncher (713057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162971)

It's unenforceable in the sense that most of it would almost certainly (if initially granted) fall foul of the Human Rights Act. It would be entirely disproportionate to stop people communicating with each other.

I'd imagine TfL would be able to get an ASBO against trespassing on the railway - it's an unbelievably stupid and dangerous thing to do especially in the confined tunnels of the London Underground - but they'd have a hard time making the rest of it stick.

Why would they even try? Well, I've worked (fortunately briefly) for TfL and I found them a very weird organisation with a very paternalistic attitude to both staff and passengers; I always felt an underlying sense that you might be hauled off to the Gulag if you failed to toe the party line and I'm not really surprised that they have overreacted in such a spectacular fashion.

Aldwych Station is, ironically, opened up to visitors fairly often so there's no particular difficulty in getting to see it. I went several years back and you can probably gauge some of the internal contradictions at TfL from the fact that we were encouraged to take photographs by the (enthusiastic and knowledgeable) engineer leading the tour but told not to make them publicly available as it would upset the marketing department that makes money out of selling images and result in future tours being cancelled. There has recently been controversy about a ban on DSLRs and Tripods at Aldwych Station (http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2130486/-tight-schedule-forced-ban-dslrs-london-transport-museum) which again might appear to be as much about preserving TfL's image rights as anything else.

So although there's a clear public safety issue in the original incident, I think this has much more to do with TfL wanting to let everyone know they're the boss. Which is an odd position for a publicly-owned and funded body to take.

To me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162687)

For me I get the mental picture of a large amorphous giant made out of people, blundering about on the landscape saving people from themselves with one hand and crushing others for their own good.
We so need a better system.

Re:To me (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162723)

I very much want someone with far better visual arts skills than me to produce what you've described in a painting or other rendering. I'd buy it.

Re:To me (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162819)

Something like this you mean? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haywain_Triptych [wikipedia.org]

Re:To me (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162863)

I was actually envisioning something of a more literal depiction of the GP's expressed image. In my mind, I can see a giant humanoid figure, composed of perhaps a few thousand people, sweeping its hands through a vast landscape of people, alternately cradling some in one arm and crushing the life from others in the opposing fist.

My first mental image also included some of the scenery described in passages involving the giant in Ender's Game [wikipedia.org] .

ASBOS (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162701)

Seriously folks, you have to Google them.
One basic summary of them is that you can issue an ASBO to stop someone from doing something *that isn't a crime*, if they then break the order, then *that is a crime* and you can arrest and jail them.

Re:ASBOS (-1)

pancakegeels (673199) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162739)

I imagine breaking and entry is a crime. They are trying to make a ASBO serve as a deterrent to repeat behaviour, rather than give them the 5 hours community service or whatever minimal punishment they would have had.

Re:ASBOS (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162895)

The problem is that (last I checked) its not legal for for the cops to give you a caution and then later go back and issue a new punishment for the same crime.

Also, community service alone would probably not act as a deterrent to anyone thinking of going exploring in the abandoned parts of the Underground in the way that the threat of an ASBO like this would.

What they should do is to invest more money on security. All access to tunnels, track areas, unused stations and other off-limits areas should be blocked with gates, doors, bars, locks and grills. Access to the track via the platform edge should be blocked by doors (already in use at some stations) that only open when a train pulls up.

Keep these people from being able to trespass in the first place and there wont be any need to issue ASBOs.

Re:ASBOS (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163003)

All access to tunnels, track areas, unused stations and other off-limits areas should be blocked with gates, doors, bars, locks and grills. Access to the track via the platform edge should be blocked by doors (already in use at some stations) that only open when a train pulls up.

Disclaimer: This post brought to you by the gate, door, lock and grill makers' association.

FTFY.

Re:ASBOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162783)

I hope that they can still choose a jury trial. I would hope that any decent group of people would let them off because of the massive impingement on human rights this stupid law represents.

Re:ASBOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162793)

Brings a whole new sickining feeling to "Nanny State."

Re:ASBOS (2, Informative)

Bongo (13261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162855)

That's right. The "healthy" side of ASBOs is that there are a lot of things which are bad but not technically illegal. Dropping money in the street is not illegal. Screaming loudly during sex is not illegal. But paedophiles have been known to drop money outside school gates to entice children to pick it up and come over and offer it back. Some woman was screaming loudly during sex repeatedly and ignoring requests from neighbours that she quieten down. So do you let it go on, or do the authorities have something to do? ASBOs are very specific, there's maybe a few dozen in one city per year, and you have to apply to a judge to have one granted. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with them, they are quite scary, but so are some of the things people do "legally". The ones I've heard about, judges just don't like granting ASBOs. The ASBO has to be very specific. If the police catch you breaching the terms of the ASBO then they can arrest you. People often say that ASBOs don't work because half the time people breach them anyway, but that's the point -- breaching it allows the police to arrest you.

Re:ASBOS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162921)

So do you let it go on, or do the authorities have something to do?

Something that isn't illegal? You let it go on, obviously! Until there is a law that makes these things illegal, free people doing legal things should tell the police to fuck off, and not apologize. If they want to step it up, they should press charges against the police who is trying to interfere with legal activities for arbitrary acts by the authorities. WTF is wrong with people that this even needs explaining?

Re:ASBOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162969)

So you'd want a law against dropping money on the streets or loud sex? Or would you rather have a targeted law against people who abuse this?

Re:ASBOS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163007)

I'd have to look into how big of a problem either of those are and if they're not already restricted. In the case of money-dropping to lure kids, that's probably already illegal if you can prove intent, and the loud sex is probably already limited by noise ordinances. Either way, yes, if we want that behavior to stop, there should be a law or an ordinance that applies to everyone or none at all. The police is the executive branch, the courts are the judicial branch and laws should be made by the legislative branch, or you end up in a fascist police state.

Re:ASBOS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162993)

Absolutely. We have this entire system of increasingly arbitrary, arcane, and even silly laws in place that, when broadly interpreted, effectively give the police discretionary powers over almost anything they don't like. This is basically saying that now they don't even have to use that system.

Re:ASBOS (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162975)

I understand the intent behind ASBOs. They are supposed to be a halfway house of sorts. And they do have the effect of preventing the criminalisation of behaviour that is antisocial and that can feel threatening to others. A good example is the gang culture. Now, no one wants to criminalise people walking in groups (at least I don't), but gangs (of you people I must add) most certainly walks in groups and do cause a nuisance, engage in threatening behaviour and in some cases commit crimes. ASBOs can specifically disallow them from congregating in a certain area, and if they are followed, they can make the community feel like (and maybe be) a safer place. But what do we care here on Slashdot. It's not like most of us live in these rough neighbourhoods, so let them have freedom to walk in groups and cause a nuisance. It doesn't affect us.

This is unacceptable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162713)

How the fuck can Government order people NOT to speak to each other! I understand giving an order not to speak to each other for a week or two, that's somewhat acceptable but a whole decade, that is a little bit too much. Next they will be telling us where we can't walk for next, I don't know, 100 years? Would that be acceptable for you Mr. President? You shat there and nobody MUST not see your shit, and everybody alive will die when 100 years pass so nobody will know about it.
By the way I do understand security side of this nonsense and nevertheless that fear must not control us, for we are not sheep (or at least we think we are not).
And why would there be a need for all that security if their Government weren't policing other nations around, together with US, like some kind of parents, abusive at that.

Re:This is unacceptable! (0)

Crookdotter (1297179) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162829)

It's about criminals not associating with each other, which I agree with. This case doesn't do anyone any good it seems though, although are we romanticising 'urban explorers' - why not call them 'tresapssers', or 'burglars'?

Re:This is unacceptable! (4, Insightful)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162849)

> why not call them 'burglars'?

Better yet, call them "terrorists" and the public will immediately see how bad and wrong they are.

After all, nomenclature, not what someone actually did, is what really matters.

Re:This is unacceptable! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162877)

Well, we're not calling them "burglars" because they don't take stuff. Trespassers is accurate, since urbex frequently does entail that, but urbex clarifies the harmless (purported) intent; it's a good distinction to make.

Re:This is unacceptable! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162885)

You agree with restricting their freedom of speech (yes, yes, I know this isn't the US) because they might talk about doing something?

Wow.

This is not how ASBOs are meant to be used (3, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162727)

This is terrible. There are already laws in place to prevent the "anti-social" aspects of what these guys did. They were arrested and charged with these crimes (a caution does count as a conviction). Every urban explorer knows this is a risk.

ASBOs are meant to deal with anti social behaviour that isn't actually criminal. The only "anti-social" aspect of their behaviour was the illegal part.

Re:This is not how ASBOs are meant to be used (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162757)

You confuse two things here

a. The publicly stated reason for the introduction of the ASBO, "antisocial control"
b. The true intended function - a device for making the legal, illegal, and therefore actionable...

It was never about anything other than giving them a legal device to criminalise non-criminal behaviour, to be used as and when they required. Having it on the statute books for so long unchallenged also gives them a precedent.

Did they get their gear back ? (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162745)

Their laptops, cameras and hard drives were confiscated.

What reason not to give them back (other than summary 'punishment' by the police) ? If they did not get them back, they have probably been back to take new photos.

Striesand Effect (3, Interesting)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162763)

Streisand Effect.
It is very disturbing to read that anyone seeking to take pictures of an abandoned or unused subway stations are subject to any sort of "Anti social" order. Taking pictures of a disused public conveyance is hardly "antisocial." Given the violent tendencies of yobs and chavs I've read about elsewhere; law enforcement in this jurisdiction has better things to do with their time.
BTW Did they ever let Tony Martin out of jail or is he still a danger to burglars?

He was released long ago (3, Interesting)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162899)

I understand that he had been burgled many times before (losing a total of about 10 000 dollars) and that he had all the right to be frustrated about police inaction... That said, he had no reason to believe he was under any threat when he fired his shotgun at the backs of two people who were trying to flee through the window, killing one and injuring the other. The court thought that he was clearly using inappropriate force and he spent 3 years in jail after which he was let free because he behaved well.

Call me crazy freedom-hating left-wing nutjob if you want to, but I don't think that anyone has the right to execute people without a trial if it's not in self-defense... especially when it comes to crimes that don't carry a death penalty in the first place.

Re:He was released long ago (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163011)

I'm curious what an "appropriate" force would have been then. Throwing the TV remote at them? Turning around and walking away while saying "shucks, I do hope they really are leaving and aren't just trying to find a way to attack me by surprise"?

If people broke into my home and I saw them, I would feel threatened until the police captured them. Since the people obviously had no problem breaking into my home once, I would have no reason to believe they wouldn't come back to prevent me from potentially identifying them. Historical precedent had proven that Tony Martin could not count on the police to do anything, so he did the only thing he could do to protect himself.

Call me a crazy, freedom-loving, right-wing nutjob if you want to, but I just can't feel sorry for someone who's purposefully destroying and stealing other people's property and threatening their safety.

Doing it for the rush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162775)

Did these guys even consider writing to TfL and asking for permission to go to the station? Nope. They were doing it for the rush, the danger, the excitement - the risk of getting creamed by a train or getting caught. They got caught. Too bad. That's what the rush is all about. So they should stand up and take their punishment.

LOL appeal in USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162781)

i must say that is bullshit. I live in Minnesota and there is group that does this types of thing. I wish i was with them cause even if i got arrested the pictures would be worth it. Im so sorry the "Crown of england" thinks there super special even thought the only power they have us dismiss parliament. They did nothing wrong. We have several of those abandoned train lines in the USA. LA and NYC has stations that are not used. If i had the money and better photo equipment i would so do what they did. I also would love to see that ruling stand in USA. Cause the second i couldnt see my friend i would laugh then appeal to the highest level of courts in the US. Then i would laugh some more as i sue the lower courts.

FUCK THE UK! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162785)

The UK has become a third-world nation with a first-rate Nanny State.

Re:FUCK THE UK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162953)

For various reasons, I stopped buying UK products years ago. These including whiskey ("Scotch"), beer, and Colman's Original English Mustard.

Replacing their alcohol with USA products was easy (esp. given the proliferation of micro-brewing); although I haven't found anything comparable to their mustard.

Anyway it's sad that the country which created Magna Carta [wikipedia.org] (although all but three clauses have been repealed!) and other documents of personal liberty has come to this.

Unfortunately the US is heading towards the same direction.

So If the UK Doesn't like you're Rock Climbing (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162821)

They slap you with an ASBO?

It is not illegal to climb, but you might hurt yourself or your friend, and that would be "antisocial".

And then if you do skateboarding...

And tattoos and nose piercing...

We have a room in this insane asylum...

Trainspotting (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162851)

(Slightly edited from the original)

Tommy: Doesn't it make you proud to be English?

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: It's SHITE being English! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. We're ruled by effete assholes. It's a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference!

check out their site (5, Informative)

dr_blurb (676176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162861)

Check out their site: silentuk [silentuk.com] , very cool pictures there.

Here are the Aldwych station pictures [silentuk.com]

Re:check out their site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162891)

TFS has the same URL!

I don't know whether to label you a Karma Whore or congratulate you for living up to the /. standard of not reading TFS.

Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162865)

Are we sure we defeated the nazis?

Watching the world lately i'm really not sure we did...

The worst ASBO ever has to be (4, Interesting)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162871)

"The oldest recipient of an order to date is an 87-year-old who among other things is forbidden from being sarcastic to his neighbours (July 2003). He was subsequently found guilty of breaking the terms of his order on three separate occasions. He awaits sentencing but the judge has already made it clear that "there will be no prison for an 88 year old man". (Source—Statewatch ASBOwatch)"

I know ASBOs are a farce, but jesus, I didn't know how far we had sunk - as a Brit, I'm amazed at this list of more controversial ASBOs - http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmhaff/80/80we20.htm [parliament.uk]

Their only crime was curiosity (psych!) (5, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162897)

As a kid, what is now called "urban exploration" was a treasured hobby. Living in a big, boring government city, we'd ride our bikes far and wide in search of interesting areas and abandoned buildings. And by "we", I mean about half the kids my age. We'd venture out in groups, anywhere from two to ten of us, exploring all sorts of out-of-view places like unmanned water supply hubs, underground walkways, decommissioned train stations and the abandoned warehouses. The worst thing we ever encountered were a pair of crackheads who threatened to steal our bikes. So they got their asses beat by a pack of little kids with rocks and sticks :)

At no point in any of this did we feel like we were harming persons or property. We didn't even tag stuff, we just wanted to admire cool spots and all the kitschy 60's and 70's crap that has been left behind. To criminalize such acts of natural curiosity seems patently ridiculous to me. That said, it's not kosher to sneak around an active subway system past security lines, but I'd like to suggest an alternative solution: official tours of the abandoned subway stations! People like to see those out-of-the-way areas, so why not charge them a couple bucks and have guide safely lead would-be explorers in a perfectly legal manner. Sure, for some it takes away the thrill of sneaking around, but at least for myself, the goal was never to break laws, it was merely satisfying my curiosity.

As an aside, my high school was situated in a 150 year old castle, erected by one of the region's pioneers and eventually donated to the church, who repurposed it as an agricultural college in the early 20th century. Like many buildings of the era, it had vast underground catacombs and passageways connecting the various buildings, as well as upper levels that formerly housed residents, staff, and clergymen. They even had their own barber shop up there! We had an underground tunnel lined with lockers, something many of us considered a privilege as it conferred some peace and privacy. Most of these areas were not used during my time, but we were invited to explore, with guided tours arranged at least a few times a year. If you knew the routes, you could get to any building without stepping outside, a welcome luxury on rainy days or in -40'C winter storms. And if the indoors weren't your thing, there was a 30 acre forest island with beaches, rapids, a large rock formation, abandoned booths and small cabins from sporting events dating back 50-60 years, and all sorts of places to climb. Snooping around is what we did for fun, and it was encouraged!

It sure beats what today's kids do: sit around, baked out of their minds as they escape the mindlessness of our scared society.

Historic places of interest are of public interest (2)

jools33 (252092) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162907)

As a keen photographer myself - to me these disused areas of the city are areas of public interest - particularly the old closed down underground stations. Rather than slapping down ASBOs on people - London Transport should wake up to the potential of their sites - and turn them into museums or at least offer guided tours of these sites - open them up to the curious public to view the sites in a safe manner - and let photographers take the pictures they want to take. Just stop treating photographers as potential terrorist - because that is the last thing we are!

Is it even legal? (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162917)

I know that the British legal system is somewhat different than the continental one, but I thought that getting punished twice for the same crime was forbidden everywhere in the civilised world. After they got a caution for what they did, on what grounds can they be punished again for it?

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162943)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4406129.stm [bbc.co.uk]

it is known as double jeopardy...and it does not apply in the UK anymore...at least according to this(quick google search)

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162979)

Being tried twice and being punished twice are different things. Retrial in light of new evidence if in the first trial the defendant was found innocent is a fairly common thing. However, in this case they already got a caution the first time.

Asking for and getting are two different things... (3)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162941)

From what I read in TFA the ASBOs have been applied for but not (yet) granted. Think we have to wait and see what the UK legal system says about this before we can comment intelligently.

ECHR (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162985)

IANAL but I strongly suspect that the ECHR would completely strike out non-association. It is clearly a human rights violation. Unfortunately our pathetic right-wing Murdoch/Rothermere Press is totally uninterested in civil liberties - except of course their right to hack computers, listen in on voicemail, threaten vulnerable people (Charlotte Church case) and misrepresent the EU.

Perfect solution for David Haye & Dereck Chiso (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163017)

Viola! No trash talk press conference brawls anymore!

. . . and for Adele and her finger . . .

The UK now has a law to order folks to, "Oh! Behave! . . . "

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