The Metropolitan Police

03/31/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/30/2017 22:32

Conditions imposed on marches and demonstrations, central London

On 30 March, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) imposed conditions upon marches and rallies being planned by the English Defence League (EDL) and Britain First, and also upon a counter demonstration by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) scheduled to take place on Saturday, 1 April in central London.

Conditions have been imposed under Section 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act, 1986, on the two planned protests by the EDL and Britain First, as follows:

EDL:

= Notice under Section 12(3) Public Order Act 1986; Conditions to be imposed on persons organising or taking part in a public procession:
1. The march to the rally point must set off at 13:15hrs.
2. The march must take place on the following route - Trafalgar Square, Northumberland Avenue, Victoria Embankment to the designated rally point. It must then follow the same route back to the dispersal point.
3. The participants must follow the directions of a constable even if those vary the route.
4. Participants must only join or leave the procession at the start/finish point at Trafalgar Square.

= Notice under Section 14(3) Public Order Act 1986: Conditions to be Imposed on Persons Organising or Taking Part in a Public Assembly:

Conditions as to location of assembly:
1. A static assembly must only take place at the designated site on Victoria Embankment.

Conditions as to maximum duration of the assembly:
2. Any assembly or rally must finish by 15:00hrs.

Britain First:

= Notice under Section 12(3) Public Order Act 1986; Conditions to be imposed on Persons Organising or Taking Part in a Public Procession:

1. The march to the rally point must set off at 13:00hrs.
2. The march must take place on the following route - Charing Cross Station forecourt, the Strand, Northumberland Avenue, Victoria Embankment to the designated rally point. It must then follow the same route back to the dispersal point.
3. The participants must follow the directions of a constable even if those vary the route.
4. Participants must only join or leave the procession at the start/finish point at Charing Cross Station.

= Notice under Section 14(3) Public Order Act 1986: Conditions to be Imposed on Persons Organising or Taking Part in a Public Assembly:

Conditions as to location of assembly:
1. A static assembly must only take place at the designated site on Victoria Embankment.

Conditions as to maximum duration of the assembly:
2. Any assembly or rally must finish by 15:00hrs.

Conditions have been imposed under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, 1986, on a planned demonstration by the UAF, as follows:

UAF:

Notice under Section 14(3) Public Order Act 1986: Conditions to be Imposed on Persons Organising or Taking Part in a Public Assembly:

Conditions as to location of assembly:
1. A static assembly must only take place at the designated site on Victoria Embankment.

Conditions as to maximum duration of the assembly:
1. The protest must conclude by 16:00hrs.

The information and intelligence available to the MPS at this time means that the Met feels it necessary to impose these conditions to prevent the demonstrations from resulting in serious disorder, serious damage to property, serious disruption to the life of the community, and to prevent the intimidation of local people trying to go about their business.

Chief Superintendent Catherine Roper from the Metropolitan Police Service, said:

'The right to protest is a fundamental right in our democratic society, but this right must be balanced against the right of people to go about their day without fear of violence, disorder or disruption.

'Experience has shown us that when groups with conflicting views come together it can create tension and disorder, not just on the day itself but in the longer term. What we have had to carefully consider is how to balance the right to protest with the negative impact on our communities and potential violence and disorder that may have resulted from these protests going ahead as they were suggested.

'If you want to protest on Saturday we ask that you do so peacefully, no matter what your view. We will adopt a robust arrest policy on anyone who attends and is intent on violence and disorder, or is in breach of these conditions.'

The decision to apply Section 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act was taken based on current tensions and concerns, the current intelligence picture about Saturday and previous marches and protests held by similar groups. Taking all these factors into consideration the MPS has made an operational policing decision to take this approach, and believe it to be proportionate in these specific circumstances.

Breach of the conditions is a criminal offence, and anyone breaching them may find themself liable to arrest.

A policing operation will be in place during the course of Saturday 1 April. Officers from the MPS Police Liaison Team will be in ongoing dialogue with those groups who wish to protest, and this will include advance explanation of what the imposition of Sections 12 and 14 mean and how participants can remain within the law.