Home Secretary Priti Patel will tell MPs “we do not make policy through mob rule” as she urges them to support a new Public Order Bill.
She is attempting to reintroduce measures which have previously been blocked by the House of Lords as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
These include introducing a new offence of obstructing major transport networks, which carries a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.
Interfering with key national infrastructure – such as railways, roads and printing presses – will also become a criminal offence, which would bring a penalty of up to 12 months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both.
Amnesty International says the home secretary is smearing peaceful protest with the plans, while Fair Trials says the government “appears to be intent on destroying the right to peaceful protest rather than protecting it”.
As she opens the second reading debate on the bill in the House of Commons on Monday, Ms Patel is expected to tell MPs: “From day one, this government has put the safety and interests of the law-abiding majority first… but recently we have seen a rise in criminal, disruptive, and self-defeating tactics – from a supremely selfish minority.
“Their actions divert police resources away from the communities where they are needed most… and we are seeing parts of the country grind to a halt… This is reprehensible behaviour and I will not tolerate it.”
More on Home Office
As part of the bill, police will also be given the power to proactively stop and search people to seize items intended for “locking-on” purposes, such as glue or bamboo structures meant for obstructing police.
‘Lock-on’ tactics, such as protesters gluing themselves to roads or public transport, have been repeatedly employed by groups such as Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil.
Courts will also be given new powers to make Serious Disruption Prevention Orders, which would make those who have been found to repeatedly cause disruption wear an electronic tag, to ensure they are not in a particular place where they might commit a “protest-related offence”.
Ms Patel will add: “I will not stand by and let anti-social individuals keep causing misery and chaos for others. The Public Order Bill will empower the police to take more proactive action to protect the rights of the public to go about their lives in peace.
“However passionately one believes in a cause, we do not make policy through mob rule in this country… I will not be deterred from backing the police and standing up for the law-abiding majority, and that’s what the Public Order Bill does.”
But Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the bill “fails on every count”.
She said it was too “widely drawn,” and could also penalise passers-by or peaceful protesters.
She said Labour’s suggestion to make it quicker to secure injunctions when vital services are threatened with disruption, would be better.
“This is a wasted opportunity to take a sensible approach and is getting things all wrong.
“The home secretary is just recycling widely drawn measures from the Police Bill which have already been rejected by parliament.
“Tomorrow we should instead be having the second reading of the long-awaited Victims Bill with measures to tackle rising crime and falling prosecutions; instead, the home secretary is letting everyone down.”
Amnesty International UK’s head of policy and government affairs Allan Hogarth described it as “outrageous” for Ms Patel to “smear peaceful protesters as a ‘mob'”.
She added: “At a time when protesters in places like Moscow or Hong Kong are hailed for their bravery – including by members of our government – it’s incredibly depressing that Priti Patel is pushing these repressive laws.”
Norman Reimer, the chief executive of the group Fair Trials, had said of the home secretary’s latest proposals: “By reintroducing plans that have already been rejected by UK parliamentarians, the UK government appears to be intent on destroying the right to peaceful protest rather than protecting it.”
Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion (XR) has already announced plans to “bring millions of people on to the streets” in response to the new bill after it was announced in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month.
- Kate Garraway grills Priti Patel on police powers to inspect homes for lockdown flouters
- Stopped at the shops: Now Police quiz drivers outside TESCO and demand to know where they are headed as Priti Patel says cops are right to quiz park goers on benches and stay at home message is 'very clear'
- Priti Patel tackles the woke police chiefs who let mobs tear down statues as she plans to launch a 'power grab' against 'failing' PCCs
- Priti Patel says Donald Trump 'directly' incited Capitol violence after squirming interview
- Priti Patel heaps praise on 'hero' police officers who tackled Reading attacker as she warns terror threat from 'lone actors' is growing
- Boris Johnson adviser quits after being overruled on Priti Patel bullying report
- Games consoles put kids at risk from online predators, Priti Patel warns
- Priti Patel defeats ‘do-gooding’ celebs as 1,100 criminals including killers & rapists are booted out of UK
- Lockdown police can question you on a park bench or in a car, Priti Patel warns
- Sen. Rand Paul: ‘Violence and Mob Rule Is Wrong and Un-American’
- Mob rule on Fifth Ave: Boy, 15, is arrested for smashing BMW's windshield with his bike as his 25-strong gang stop random SUV in Manhattan and try to drag elderly mother, 74, and son from battered vehicle
- Massachusetts aims to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035
- Coronavirus RECAP: MPs debate national lockdown hours after new rules came in
- Opinion: Donald Trump's mob rule
- Wall Street braces for tougher rules under new Democratic majority
- Boris Johnson slams Trump as ‘completely wrong’ for inciting supporters to storm Capitol
- Police will fine Brits without face mask the first time they're caught from now on
- ‘New Year, Same Scandal’: Farage Releases Footage of First Boat Migrants Landing After Brexit
- One strike and you're out: Police are told to fine Covid rule-breakers after just ONE verbal warning as three officers arrest a woman 'for sitting on a bench' and another is surrounded for 'leaving her house more than once'
- No more warnings: Police vow to issue fines 'much quicker' as football fan caught on road trip to see stadiums and couple who made 130-mile coastal visit to spot seals are among latest hit with penalties
Priti Patel to urge MPs to stop using 'mob rule' and support new policing powers have 1120 words, post on news.sky.com at May 22, 2022. This is cached page on Travel News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.