Gosport police harass 80 year old pensioner

Original article at Portsmouth Today
I was treated like a terror suspect says protest gran
Wednesday May 2nd 2007

Helen Nelson, dubbed ‘the granarchist‘ for her long-running campaign against animal testing at Wickham Laboratories (left) in Wickham, told The News her car was searched under section 44 of the Terrorist Act 2000 while she was walking her dogs at Fort Gilkicker in Gosport.

She says that as she came back with her two corgis and beagle about 2pm on Sunday a police officer was looking over her Ford Fiesta, which was parked in Fort Road. The car has a ‘Stop Wickham Animal Testing’ sticker in the rear window.

The 80-year-old, of Brune Lane, Rowner, Gosport, said: ‘The police officer asked me for my details, he radioed them back to his headquarters, then he told me: “I’m afraid I’m going to have to do a search”.’

She said: ‘It’s disgraceful. ‘Talk about being a free country and citizens having rights – where are my rights?’ She said the PC searched her car and found nothing of interest.

Mrs Nelson has received a dozen police cautions and one conviction for criminal damage for her part in numerous protests at the labs.

And in August 2002 she was one of eight protesters who stripped off to make a point about the labs.

No one at Gosport Police Station would comment on the matter. Police spokeswoman Julie Knight said: ‘Uniformed police in Hampshire do have the power in certain places to carry out searches under section 44. It is used as part of our counter-terrorism efforts to prevent a terrorist act in Hampshire.’

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