Not many people are talking about the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
But if it passes Parliament, it will have an impact on all our lives.
The bill gives unprecedented powers to the Police to ban peaceful demonstrations outright and to ban ‘noisy’ protests. The definition of a noisy protest includes a protest involving noise made by just one person!
It’s been revealed that the Police Federation was not consulted on this huge extension of police powers. Furthermore, a respected group of former Police Officers has expressed grave concerns.
In a letter to the Home Secretary they said, “Echoing the concerns voiced by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and other professional bodies, we believe that this Bill has dangerous and harmful implications for the ability of police officers to enforce the law and for the health of our democracy as a whole.”
If the next time a group of residents, or even a single resident, wants to protest against a housing development or a council decision, the Police could just say ‘No’.
You might expect this from the Chinese Government in Hong Kong, but we shouldn’t put up with it in the UK.
If any other of your readers are worried at the prospect of their right to protest being curtailed, I would encourage them to write to their MP and ask them to oppose this repressive legislation. Or they could support organisations like Unlock Democracy which are campaigning against the Bill.
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