Police enlist community help in the fight against “crime” in Herefordshire

Just over a week ago, two protestors arrived for a weekly vigil outside a notorious animal testing lab in Herefordshire.

Not to specifically focus on one police force, but recently the actions of the west mercia police need to be highlighted to show the petty and underhand manner in which this force is attempting to outlaw legitimate protest in this location by using whatever means are available to them, or in the case below, whatever may spring to mind at the time.

‘ A police car was already in wait as the two arrived. Two sheet banners were carefully tied to a nearby hedge at the end of a field by protestors. Moments later, an officer left his vehicle to walk hundreds of yards up a driveway adjacent to the field to inform the owners that banners had been tied to the hedge at the foot of the field.

On his return protesters were warned under Section 42 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 to remove the banners from the hedge as they were causing ‘harassment, alarm and distress’ to the occupant that owned the field.’

This is by no means the first time the misuse of section 42 (the law created to stop animal rights activists protesting outside the homes of vivisectors) has been employed by west mercia police officers. The force have also employed section 42 in the past to ‘protect’ locals that live hundreds of yards away in the opposite direction from the lab in the residential areas of a small nearby town.

So. as it seems. we have a police force that are coaxing home dwellers in the vicinity of the labs to make the complaint that they are being ‘harassed, alarmed and distressed’ by the peaceful activities of protestors.

In this case, those that supposedly made the above complaint are the owners of a nearby apple orchard.

We are dealing here with a police force that are seemingly using members of the local community to further their own ends. Those ends being to outlaw legitimate protest by whatever means necessary.

Let’s hope those that have been persuaded by police to make these ridiculous complaints do not themselves one day want to legitimately protest against any injustice in their area. They may just end up experiencing the same treatment that peaceful animal rights protestors are currently at the end of.


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