Update On Section 50 Police Reform Act (22nd March 2006 Sequani Arrest)

Anonymous wrote

I was arrested outside Sequani -an animal torture centre, for refusing to give my details when asked.

I was then handcuffed and held for 18 hours prior to being freed by magistrates whom were kind enough to give me unconditional bail.

The case was dropped at a later date, the police cannot demand details unless they reasonably suspect anti social behaviour, sitting on a grass verge does not suffice!

West Mercia police have now apologised and compensated me financially. Professional standards state:

“It is clear from the investigation that officers have been provided with a briefing note, which interprets the use of legislation in an ambiguous way. This has led to officers becoming confused when faced with protestors about how to enforce their powers.

It is recommended that no officer face individual sanction and that the professional standards department together with the legal department issues a learning outcome package for implementation”.

It is possible that the “briefing note” is NETCUs helpful little booklet which is often seen tucked in police officer’s pockets when they attend protests which means that NETCU might face the wrath of numerous Chief Constables but this is speculation. Credit where it is due to West Mercia putting their house in order and having the decency to admit mistakes.

Needless to say no activist should give their details unless they want to, or are legally obliged to do so i.e. driving a motor vehicle, or have to avoid arrest. I have heard of activists being bullied in the same way and hope that my case helps others in the same situation.

Incidentally.. 2 other activists and myself have received another apology and offer of compensation (amount to be decided upon) by West Mercia for when we were arrested in July 2006 in a similar situation outside Sequani the same “briefing note” featured once again.

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