‘Public order cases involving protests have always sparked controversy, with the collision between the state’s responsibility to ensure the smooth running of civil society and the individual citizen’s right to draw attention to what they regard as a pressing moral concern.’
UK Human Rights Blog, 30th August 2019
‘Self-styled yellow vest protester James Goddard has been handed a suspended prison sentence and banned from an area around parliament for hurling abuse at the remain-supporting MP Anna Soubry. The pro-Brexit campaigner, 30, was filmed calling the former Conservative a Nazi and a traitor outside the Houses of Parliament in December and January.’
The Guardian, 22nd July 2019
‘A senior police officer has called for the government to change “outdated” protest laws amid a rise in threats against MPs. In the wake of protests by the UK “yellow vests” and other Brexit-related groups stationed outside parliament, Metropolitan Police commander Adrian Usher said officers were struggling to enforce current laws.’
The Independent, 24th April 2019
‘Colleague Joel Bennathan QC notes the increase in reports of abuse of those in public life, notably the recent “Nazi” slurs levelled against Anna Soubry MP in the street. But is that kind of behaviour a crime, and were the police at fault for not intervening at the time?’
Doughty Street Chambers, 11th January 2019
‘A defendant cannot defend himself from prosecution for breach of a Community Protection Notice (‘CPN’), on the basis that the CPN is invalid. The reason, stated in Stannard v The Crown Prosecution Service  EWHC 84 (Admin), is that there is an effective means to challenge the CPN – either by exercising the right of statutory appeal or by judicial review. Allowing a challenge to the validity of the CPN at trial is not what the relevant statute (the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, ‘the 2014 Act’) intends, nor is it an effective remedy because the person subject to a CPN should not be required to breach a CPN in order to exercise a right to challenge it.’
UK Police Law Blog, 31st January 2019
‘The Legal Aid Agency will have to gear up for another High Court showdown after a civil liberties group was granted permission to challenge the lack of public funding to help homeless people targeted by protection orders aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour.’
Law Society's Gazette, 16th January 2019
‘This summary does not cover every eventuality but intends to outline some of the possible criminal offences that may be committed. It should not be treated as legal advice and is not meant to be an exhaustive account of this area of law.
The police are responsible for investigating an allegation that a crime has been committed. Following investigation, the decision whether to charge a person with a criminal offence lies either with the police or the CPS.
Where a series of existing offences – including harassment and public order offences – are committed, and such an offence was motivated by hostility to race or religion, or was accompanied by hostility to race or religion proximate to the commission of the offence, a separate racially or religious aggravated offence is committed attracting a greater penalty. For further details, see the CPS-published guidance on this website. For those offences not covered but where hostility or hostile motivation towards race or religion is present, or hostility or hostile motivation towards disability, sexual orientation or transgender is present, this must be treated as an aggravating factor at sentence and stated as such in open court.’
Crown Prosecution Service, 11th January 2018