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CALL OUT – did you accept a caution at last year’s ‘Reclaim the Power’ protest?

24 Apr

Balcombe FrackingWere you arrested in Balcombe in Sussex during the “Reclaim the Power” Day of Action organised by No Dash for Gas on Monday 19 August 2013? 

Did you accept a police caution to secure your release?

Cautions always remain on a person’s record unless there are exceptional circumstances why they should be removed. Examples include a finding that the original arrest was unlawful or where it was found beyond all doubt that no offence existed.

The recent trial of other activists arrested at Balcombe, for obstructing the highway and breaches of section 14 of the Public Order Act (imposing conditions on a public assembly), resulted in not-guilty verdicts. Significantly, the trial judge found in his judgement [PDF] that the Section 14 notice itself was invalid.

We are therefore keen to track down anyone who accepted a caution on the day, particularly for Section 14. Whilst there are no guarantees of success, Kelly’s Solicitors in Brighton, who defended the Balcombe activists, are willing to contact Sussex Police and ask that the cautions are overturned.

If you did accept a caution and want to see if it can be removed, please contact Green & Black Cross at indicating your willingness to pass on your details to Kelly’s.

East Midlands anti-fracking camp activists trained as legal observers

10 Apr

IMG_1828Members of Netpol partner organisation Green and Black Cross (GBC) travelled to the East Midlands yesterday to provide training for activists at the new ‘Daneshill Community Protection Camp‘ on becoming effective legal observers.  Continue reading

Barton Moss: policing in the absence of democracy

4 Apr

This post by David Cullen first appeared on the Open Democracy website.

police and busOn January 14th Dr. Steve Peers, a legal observer at the anti-fracking ‘protectors’ camp at Barton Moss, was filming three police officers arresting a protester. Video he took shows one of the officers realising they were being filmed, walking up to Steve and pushing him backwards onto the floor. Shortly afterwards another officer walked up to him and jostled him away from the arrest, pushing him down the road. This officer then started repeatedly asking if Steve had been drinking alcohol before aggressively asserting that he had and loudly claiming that Steve had admitted to doing so. Steve was then arrested for refusing to submit to breath test.

Continue reading

Don’t Feed The Feds – a video guide to police surveillance of protesters

28 Mar

Today Netpol launches our new video guide to intelligence gathering on protesters – and how to deal with it. Many thanks to the samba band Barking Bateria, whom many will have seen on protests over the years, for providing us with the soundtrack for the video.

The guide is also available on our YouTube Channel

Don’t Feed The Feds – A Guide to Police Surveillance of Protesters from Netpol on Vimeo.

Netpol’s submission to Home Office on covert human surveillance

27 Mar

In February, the Home Office announced a consultation on proposals to update the covert human intelligence sources code of practice and the covert surveillance code of practice. The deadline for submissions was today.

As well as endorsing the submission by campaigners from Police Spies Out of Lives, we submitted the following comments.

A PDF version of our submission is available here (131kB). Continue reading

CALL OUT: Help Netpol’s legal challenge of secret police databases

11 Mar

netpol-database-banner-02As part of our campaign against the industrial-scale collection and retention of personal information on individual campaigners, Netpol has recently begun legal action that challenges the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police over the legality of their policies governing secret police databases.

Netpol wants to see these databases shut down, because there is every reason to believe that data gathered in secret, with no checks and balances and no effective accountability, is not only unnecessary and intrusive but also riddled with gossip and rumour.

Now we need your help to support our legal case. Continue reading

Campaigners Launch Call For Public Inquiry Into Undercover Police

28 Feb

CopsLast night, a packed and at times emotional meeting at Unite’s headquarters in London launched a new campaign calling for a public inquiry into undercover police surveillance against political activism.

The Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) brings together campaigners, trade unionists and lawyers targeted by undercover police operations and speakers yesterday reflected the range of police surveillance targets, including blacklisted construction workers, anti-racist campaigners, environmental activists and, as emerged last year, the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence. Continue reading

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