A recent trial in Manchester that forced all citizens suspected of terrorist activity, or conspiracy to commit terrorist offences, to wear high-visibility jackets has now been rolled out nationwide. The radical new law, introduced to help quell the sense of unease on the streets of Britain, has received a mixed response following its first few days going national.
James Brockenshire, Minister for Security, said ‘anybody suspected of these serious offences should not be able to walk unnoticed in public places. Given the anonymity terrorists have exploited in the past, high-vis jackets are an obvious solution to an obvious problem. People can now know exactly who they’re sitting next to in the cinema or walking past in the supermarket’.
So far, 57 terror suspects have been forced to wear the illuminous jackets, and close monitoring has discovered that their movements in public places have already been successfully hampered.
Although for some, the new idea has been far from an ideal solution. Mike Stephens, general foreman at D&H Road Works said ‘by law our guys have to wear high-vis vests. This morning I took the lads for a brew and a bacon butty and everyone in the café ran out screaming and crying in a panic’.
Under the new law, a suspected terrorist may only remove the vest once cleared of any involvement in any terrorist activity, big or small.
Despite some early teething problems, some have found a way to use the new law to their own personal advantage. Geoff Lamb, a chartered accountant from Bracknell claims his life has been ‘markedly more enjoyable’ since it was rolled out five days ago. ‘I have to travel to work on the bus every morning. I’m sick of sitting next to rowdy teenagers with their headphones blaring. I pop on a high-vis and they all run away. I’m not proud of pretending to be a threat to national security, but when you’re being force-fed One Direction and cheap deodorant, you’re willing to try anything'.