The extinction rebellion protest is currently ongoing. As of the 8th October 2019 there have been 541 arrests. During the April protests 1,130 people were arrested over a 2 week period.
The ethos behind the protest is peaceful protest in full public view. Despite this, many protesters are being arrested. In the current protest there has been reports of kettling and aggressive stop and search procedures.
Most arrests will be for alleged breaches of s14 of the Public Order Act 1986. For this offence to be proven it must be established that:
A senior officer reasonably believes that given the time, place and circumstances of a demonstration there is a risk of:
(a) Serious public disorder, Serious damage to property, or Serious disruption to the community
(b) The organizers are intimidating others with a view to compelling them not to do an act they have a right to do, or to do an act they have a right not to do.
If the officer believes the above is satisfied he may give directions on where the protest should be held, its duration and maximum numbers.
When can this power be exercised?
- It must be necessary to prevent disorder, damage, disruption or intimidation.
When would I be committing an offence?
- For organizers & someone taking part- an offence will be committed if you knowingly fail to comply with the above.
- The offence can also be committed by inciting another to commit an offence.
What defence do I have?
- You bare the burden of proving that the failure to comply arose from circumstances beyond your control.
Important Information if you are arrested:
If you fail to provide a name or address you risk being charged with obstructing police in execution of their duties.
We are here to help you. If you are arrested then ask the custody sergeant to call 0207737 9339.
Alternatively ask for Wainwright & Cummins Solicitors