12:56 28 November 2013
A planned law aimed at crackling down on nuisance behaviour, which Ministers say is easier to enforce than Asbos, is being opposed by cross-party campaign group saying that it will have a “chilling effect on free speech.” The group hopes to persuade politicians to rewrite Clause 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime, and Policing Bill which they say will affect charity collectors, carol singer, street pastors, and even protesters.
Keith Porteous Wood from the National Secular Society said: "This draconian legislation could be applied to ordinary people from football fans to political campaigner."
Meanwhile, Reform Clause 1 campaign director Simon Calvert added: "This is a crazy law. It will not deter thugs and hooligans who are normally already breaking lots of other laws anyway.
"But it will give massive power to the authorities to seek court orders to silence people guilty of nothing more than breaching political correctness or social etiquette."
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell also opposes the future law. He said: "What constitutes annoyance is a very subjective judgment. There is a danger that this legislation could be abused to target legitimate freedom of expression that some people might find annoying."
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