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Covering Your Face During A Riot

November 20, 2011 by staff 

Covering Your Face During A Riot, It may soon be a crime to cover your face with a mask or other means during a riot. Conservative MP Blake Richards says police have been asking for a law like this for some time, and that’s why he introduced a bill to make the necessary changes to the criminal code last month. It will be debated in parliament today.

“When trouble starts, people intent on criminal activity depend on being able to ‘mask up’ to conceal their faces with bandanas, balaclavas or other means to avoid being identified and being held accountable for their actions,” Richards said in a statement last month when the bill was tabled.

The debate sets up some questions, though. For example, the bill exempts people that have a “lawful excuse” for covering their face, but it does not define what a lawful excuse would be.

Also, it leaves open to interpretation what constitutes a riot. The criminal code defines a riot as “an unlawful assembly that has begun to disturb the peace tumultuously.”

If Richards’ bill became law a person found guilty of breaking it could face five years in jail.

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