Protest to take place against 'dangerous' policing bill

Nailsea Climate Emergency protest against police and crime bill

A peaceful protest is set to take place against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. - Credit: Nailsea Climate Emergency

A peaceful protest will take place today (January 13) against the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - which will vastly change how protests are policed in the UK.

The bill reaches the House of Lords this week and votes will be cast on amendments which will culminate on January 17.

North Somerset's Green Party has invited residents of all political persuasions to gather outside the Nailsea office of the area's Conservative MP, Dr Liam Fox.

North Somerset councillor Bridget Petty. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Bridget Petty has called the proposed bill 'dangerous and anti-democratic'. - Credit: Archant

Leader of North Somerset' Councils Green Group, Bridget Petty, said she believes this bill poses a threat to the public's human rights.

Cllr Petty said: "The Policing Bill threatens to remove one of our most basic human rights; the right to peacefully protest.

"And the amendments to the Bill that have been slipped into it by the government at a late stage make it even worse."

Currently, if the police wish to place restrictions on a protest then there must be evidence that it could result in "serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community".

Most Read

Police also have the power to impose specific measures on the routes of marches.

However, under the proposed bill, police bosses could be allowed to put more conditions on static protests such as start times, finish times, noise limits. These could all be applied to protests of just one person.

Mrs Petty added: "People charged under these laws [proposed by the Bill] could be jailed for up to 51 weeks.

"These are the kind of powers used by dictators, and they create conditions for this government, or any future government, to introduce a police state.

"The Bill could be used to criminalise people taking part in climate-related protests, nurses and doctors protesting for better PPE, or any other group that the government might find annoying.

"We are calling on all MPs and members of the House of Lords to stand up for our basic human rights and reject this dangerous and anti-democratic Bill."

Dr Liam Fox will address the struggle to access Covid-19 tests with Matt Hancock.Photo: Nick Ansell/

Dr Liam Fox will address the struggle to access Covid-19 tests with Matt Hancock.Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The socially distanced protest starts at 10.15am and is expected to reach Dr Fox's Nailsea office around 12.45pm where a letter calling for Liam Fox to denounce the Bill is expected to be delivered.

Liam Fox's office has been approached for comment but is yet to provide a statement.