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Bonkers Blog March 2014

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20 March - Bexley council. Above the law

Three weeks ago a complaint sent by a horse riders’ group to Bexley council about their illegal closure of Bridleway 250 was briefly reported here. It listed the legal precedents, the fact that the Crime and Disorder Act expressly forbids its use to overturn other Acts and that closing a bridleway as a crime prevention measure requires the intervention of the Secretary of State.

Almost needless to say, Bexley council rejected the complaint out of hand.
They are happy to ignore the provision of the Crime and Disorder Act and take the advice of a police sergeant Alison Bateman that the bridleway should be closed despite there being only one overnight crime around Mascal Stables in the previous five years. Among the many requirements to be satisfied before a bridleway closure can be legal is “the premises adjoining or adjacent to the highway are affected by high levels of crime and its existence is facilitating the persistent commission of criminal offences”.

So Bexley council’s excuses for law breaking fall on every conceivable point but they carry on regardless. The reason is that they consider themselves above the law and while they have the police in their pocket nothing will change. Another example of the latter came to light this week which will probably find its way to these pages before too long. Two former borough commanders are currently under investigation for Misconduct in Public Office. Will they ever learn?


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