Public Order Bill: Police to be given powers to shut down eco protests

When making a post, please ensure it complies with this site's Main Rules at all times.
  • This thread is just about the Bill, not the rights and wrongs of the protests. See various threads in the Culture and Community to discuss those matters.

    New plans to widen police powers for disruptive protests
    Officers would be able to shut down protests before they cause serious disruption, under new plans.
    www.bbc.co.uk

    Could the new Public Order Bill going through its final stages of parliament finally bring about the end of these so called eco protests blocking roads, bridges etc?

  • Long over due IMO, the Government have to respond to the changing tactics that some protesters use today, gluing themselves to roads, climbing gantry's over the motorways etc they are deliberately disruptive not protesting peacefully.

  • Surely, the police force already have those powers? It’s such a touchy feely subject they’re just not using them. Same happened with the ‘Woke’ protesters and the toppling of statues – the police stood by and largely did nothing.

    Did I say police force? Sorry, I mean police service. :)

  • Who is this law really aimed at? I have no doubt this bill will be abused and used for other purposes. There were existing laws to cover the eco protests such as Obstruction, Public Order, blocking the highway, vandalism, rail trespassing etc. why these weren’t implemented is beyond me. But the government take the opportunity to grab more power. I’m not convinced this is needed.

    Celebrate it, Anticipate it, Yesterday's faded, Nothing can change it, Life's what you make it

  • Some commentators have made that argument today, Armitage.

    They are saying that what if protestors in Parliament Square are standing on the pavement and then the police come over and arrest them, under this law, on the assumption that they might block the roads at some point. The law could easily be abused by the police.

    As you say, there are existing laws and quite often, especially the Met, they were not implemented.

  • Governments past and present have made amendments to existing Laws and Regulation , removing some old laws, these simple additions they are putting forward tonight

    Not a power grab by the Government it is simply to give the Police that additional bit of authority to deal with changing tactics by some protesters

    If the Police already had the power to why would the Government bother putting these new bits of legislation forward, it would be a waste of time, the Met have arrested hundreds of the Eco Protesters, but only when they have sufficient evidence to justify arresting them in order that the CPS can consider bringing charges

    Yes Police can arrest for Obstructing the Public Highway and have been able to do so for years

    Behaviour causing a Breach of the Peace same tactic very seldom are people taken to Court for that and if they are usual bound over to keep the peace for a set period of time usually a few weeks or months.

    Vandalism is Criminal Damage to property is a straight forward Criminal Offence instant arrest has been for years, I believe trespass on the railways is already an arrestable Criminal Offence for a long time.

    The Police have to walk a bit of tightrope when it comes to Protests as they actually are tasked with facilitating the peoples right to protest , they will help you plan where and when you want to protest, and arrange it to keep everyone as safe as possible, as they do for Easter Parades, Gay Pride March etc

    There have been lots of Protests in Parliament Square , Whitehall, Trafalgar Square over many years , not a problem , its the new random Pop Up Protests in separate locations that are often not peaceful that the Police don't know about that is the problem, they are the ones that could damage our right to protest peacefully.

  • If the Police already had the power to why would the Government bother putting these new bits of legislation forward, it would be a waste of time, the Met have arrested hundreds of the Eco Protesters, but only when they have sufficient evidence to justify arresting them in order that the CPS can consider bringing charges

    They had the power Fred but the government promotes these protests as it adds credibility to their net zero commitment. They admit they get some public backing for harder environmental policies as a result of the protests. This is why the police go so soft on this mob and go in hard on anyone who tries to take the law into their own hands.

    The new laws are performative action only. They have no intention of changing anything. We will just get more of this once the weather warms up.

    Policeman helped Just Stop Oil protest vicar take a sip of drink
    Pandering police appeared to come to the aid of eco-zealots who caused chaos by blocking roads and digging tunnels near oil plants during a demo in Essex…
    www.dailymail.co.uk

    Celebrate it, Anticipate it, Yesterday's faded, Nothing can change it, Life's what you make it

  • They had the power Fred but the government promotes these protests as it adds credibility to their net zero commitment. They admit they get some public backing for harder environmental policies as a result of the protests. This is why the police go so soft on this mob and go in hard on anyone who tries to take the law into their own hands.

    The new laws are performative action only. They have no intention of changing anything. We will just get more of this once the weather warms up.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1…-sip-drink.html

    I don't do Conspiracy Theories I leave that to the Tin Foil Hat Brigade I prefer tangible known facts , Police Officers have a duty of care the well being of even to the people they have arrested or going to arrest its part of their Job

  • The new laws are performative action only. They have no intention of changing anything. We will just get more of this once the weather warms up.

    I do think this is a degree of PR going on here, especially as already discussed, the police already have powers to remove people from blocking roads.

    I do worry that this law could be abused by the police. What if it's announced that a new oil refinery is to be built in your town and you want to peacefully protest against it? Potentially, under this law, that right could be removed under the false auspices that you might do something illegal.

  • The Bill gave the Home Secretary powers to close down any protest s/he felt was likely to be disorderly. Tht wasn't just Patel, but all future Home Secretary's. Yojr right to protest is now a political decision.

  • I do think this is a degree of PR going on here, especially as already discussed, the police already have powers to remove people from blocking roads.

    I do worry that this law could be abused by the police. What if it's announced that a new oil refinery is to be built in your town and you want to peacefully protest against it? Potentially, under this law, that right could be removed under the false auspices that you might do something illegal.

    According to the Policing Minister Chris Philp it was the Police who asked the Government to put these amendments in place within the Public Order Act in order that the Police could deal with protesters who were disrupting people by behaving badly often in the same location time and time again more effectively.

  • The Home Sec of the day Sec of State, the Met Police Commissioner and Chief Constables have always had the Authority to ban a Protest that they think has to potential to turn violent, or refuse to authorise it in an area that is likely to trigger violence e.g., Tommy Robinson organising a protest march in a mainly Asian area of Luton which locals may well react violently.

    They will if possible will select a better route for the protest in an area that is less likely to trigger a bad reaction from local residents or cause them harm and distress, or may prevent local people going about their daily routine.

    As for the Bristol Protest where a Statue was damaged and thrown into the docks, that got out of hand because the Police in Bristol did not have enough Officers to deal with the amount of people, some of whom had come prepared with ropes and paint to cause Criminal Damage.

    Later a mob of drunk and drugged fuelled thugs who still outnumbered the Officers they had been called in from other areas , were attacked and some tried to burn Police Officers to death, those who were arrested were charged with Offences under the Riot Act and some got sent to prison.

    If you wind the clock back a few years to the 70's the days of mass Pickets , hundreds of them trying to stop people going to work by intimidation, Scargill even brought in Flying Pickets from the Liverpool Docks to try and intimidate mainly Asian women that worked in a photograph developing in London who refused to join a Union

    That is why the Government of the day had to formulate new Legislation to stop mass picketing, today those violent scenes don't happen anymore put in place to protect workers.

    For those who are interested this is what is what the Government is trying to bring about back making new additions to existing legislation to protect the majority .

    They are not trying to stop Peaceful Protests far from it, it is a right we all have, the Police as always are tasked to help those who feel the need to Protest safely and peacefully .


    https://www.gov.uk/government/pub…-sentencing-and...

  • Scargill, yes it’s all Scargill’s fault, that and his flying pickets. I blame the Romans, if they hadn’t invaded England none of this would have happened.

    Looking back at the 70’s, they were the good old days compared to what we’ve got now. :) We need a bit more of that militant lefty stuff to stop us wandering about like cabbages cheering for more lockdowns and trying to grind each other down.

  • How long before this bill is abused on protesters in Oxford or some other political protest as way of pushing through authoritarian Orwellian abuse of power on the public. Even the police say they already have enough powers and the problem is not with them but with the CPS and the courts. I tend to agree and see this as political posturing. FFS the gov are most likely behind the stop oil and other recent protests as a means to get the publicity and public hating the protesters and then pushing this bill through along with winning votes. A means to an end so they can then push their own agendas through like in Oxford and whatever else they have planned for the future.

  • You saw the police powers at work in the Covid protests. During the 'Woke' toppling of statues they largely stood by wring their hands and in the glue yourselves to the road lot they did nothing, It's only public pressure that is making them interfere in the climate change protests. The police became politicized a long time ago.

  • Norra

    As I have already stated the Police themselves asked the Government to add additions to Legislation already in place to deal with the small minority of people who have no intention of Protesting Peacefully, it is their unacceptable behaviour that has brought this about.

    I would recommend you read a book by Major Richard Clutterbuck published about 50 years ago called " Britain in Agony " his opinion on the rise in Political Violence on our streets, carried by Political Activists.

    Having lived in London since the early 70's I saw what they did the damage to public and private buildings, the amount of bricks bottles thrown at our Police Officers, thumped and kicked, totally unacceptable, I have no wish to see those days return.

    As I have stated before our Right to Peaceful Protest is not under threat from the Government or the Police, the latter actually help Protest Marches take place and help organise them , they help plan the route the numbers expected, the time they want to start and where they finish.

    For large Protests Police then notify London Ambulance, St Johns Ambulance, Local Council, street cleaners barricades health and safety, they can then work out how many Officers they need to escort the march, Officers on standby just in case there is a small minority that want to cause trouble.

    All paid for of course by the taxpayers ,

  • Fred, it's 2023, not fifty years ago. Go into any city or large town on a Friday night and you'll see more drunken violence than you'll see in on political demonstration. Going back only a year, did you see the beatings handed out by the police to the peaceful Covid proteters?

  • Having lived in London since the early 70's I saw what they did the damage to public and private buildings, the amount of bricks bottles thrown at our Police Officers, thumped and kicked, totally unacceptable, I have no wish to see those days return.

    If people get pissed off and want to kick off and riot of whatever they have the right to do that but if they get caught they get nicked. It's that simple. It's called people power and when you have large numbers nothing can stop that. Protesters protesting are not doing any harm by protesting but they may be breaking existing laws like criminal damage, trespass etc.

    Really it does not matter what laws or bills are put in place. If people are pissed off enough they will do what they want anyway. All it takes is large enough numbers and there's sweet f all anyone can do unless you want to incite a riot by pissing people off more. A bit like kettling really to incite a reaction. There's also the issue of when too many laws and / or bills are created there are always loopholes or ways around them to be found as we have seen time and time again including the immigration status in this country.

    What happens when breaking a law or bill contradicts what another law or bill says. Overcomplicating things when there are already existing laws or bills in place actually makes it easier to find ways around it. Cases will just get thrown out of court. The system trips over itself by overcomplicating things. It will probably make things harder for the police in reality especially if protesters decide to riot or worse instead of protest.

    All this is really is political posturing aimed at the gullible...nothing more and nothing less. It's a vote winner aimed at a particular demographic.

  • I am trying my best to find some logic in your rant but I cannot , what you are advocating is exactly what happened in Germany in the 1930;s Hitler and Himmler recruited every thug and psychopath they could, to instil fear in the population.

    Anyone that tried to protest against them were crushed, in the end the entire population were silenced terrified the violent minority seized power, by their violence to their own countrymen most people know the rest.

    Firstly over the years Laws have been put in place to protect the majority , that is what the Criminal Law is all about to deal with the minority those who do know how tot behave , who do attack others, the druggies seeking their next fix.

    Our Laws are not complicated they have stood the test of time they are amended all the time as and when a loop hoke is found, our Laws are tested every day in Court by the Defence and overseen by the Judge. as they have been for years and years.

    You obviously do not understand the amendments made to the Public Order Act, due to the way a minority of Protesters by not Protesting Peacefully , you if you wish Nora can Protest all day every day as long as you are peaceful and not disrupting other peoples lives and wellbeing,

    PS Trespassing is not a Criminal Offence, it is a Civil matter

  • Scargill, yes it’s all Scargill’s fault, that and his flying pickets. I blame the Romans, if they hadn’t invaded England none of this would have happened.

    Looking back at the 70’s, they were the good old days compared to what we’ve got now. :) We need a bit more of that militant lefty stuff to stop us wandering about like cabbages cheering for more lockdowns and trying to grind each other down.

    We need ‘good old lefty stuff’ like a hole in the head.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!