The Home Office is considering giving police the power to stop anyone at will and demand to know where they're going and proof of ID. Vaguely reminiscent of the powers used in the USSR. Of course, it wouldn't start like that, or be intended like that, but it's a possible consequence.
Currently, there must be 'reasonable suspicion'. Why is that not enough?
The government is considering giving police officers across the UK "stop and question" powers under new anti-terror laws, says the Home Office.
The proposal, allowing police to ask people about their identity and movement, is among measures being considered by Home Secretary John Reid.
The measure is so far used only in Northern Ireland. Edit: Where there was a history of a substantial fraction of the population planting bombs on a regular basis. Thankfully, this is not the case in the UK despite the climate of fear
Police elsewhere have to have "reasonable suspicion" a crime has been committed before they can stop people.
Anyone who refuses to co-operate could be charged with obstructing the police and fined up to £5,000, according to the Sunday Times.
So, by the letter of this proposal, if stopped and questioned, saying 'why?' or protesting in any way (not unreasonable if there were no reason for the stop) could end up with a charge of obstruction.
ask people about their identity and movement? Hmm, another argument for ID cards is in the making 'It'll be easier to prove who you are when stopped for no apparent reason'.