Thursday, 1 September 2011

Tower Hamlets Borough Police Commander - Statement re Marches

Members of the Mile End Residents Association may not be aware that there is a proposal by the EDL to march in Tower Hamlets on Saturday 3rd September. Rival demonstrations and/or marches by anti-EDL groups are also anticipated.  Important points are highlighted below in red.

Last Friday the Home Secretary agreed that a there should be a ban on ALL marches by ANY group in Tower Hamlets for 30 days.
The ban imposed will cover all protest marches by any group, but will not prevent static demonstrations.
Home Office News Release - Home Secretary agrees march ban
Key points of information about Saturday 3rd September

This is MERA's perspective on what's happening.  The statement by the Borough Police Commander follows in the next section.
  • At present, it's expected that there will be static demonstrations by different groups in different parts of the borough.  The numbers involved could be large.
  • As yet nobody knows where these will be.  (MERA is trying to find out and will post any information which has been confirmed in writing by the Police)
  • It is entirely possible that these static demonstrations - by whichever group - will attract troublemakers.  
  • To receive text and email updates on the major policing activity in Tower Hamlets this weekend and any other major policing events in Tower Hamlets sign up to:
[UPDATE: The East London Advertiser is also today reporting that
Scotland Yard is treating a planned protest from the right-wing extremist group as a “major event of significance” for London and has many more officers poised to swoop on Tower Hamlets on any sign of disturbance (East London Advertiser)
Metropolitan Police - Key Messages re Marches

Det.Ch Supt Paul Rickett, Borough Commander for Tower Hamlets Police,  issued this statement yesterday (31st August).
"Following the appalling disorder in London in recent weeks, it is important that London, its communities and businesses can return to normality. It is our intelligence and information which has led us to ask for these marches to be prohibited and we believe it is the right thing to do to prevent serious disorder.

It is specific intelligence and information which has led us to ask for all marches to be prohibited, and we believe it is the right thing to do to prevent serious disorder.

"The prohibition order covers Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest, Islington and the City for a period of 30 days from Friday. Anyone who comes to these boroughs during this period to organise or take part in a march will be committing an offence and risks arrest.

Over this weekend, you can expect to see extra police on duty in all of the boroughs to offer reassurance to local communities.

The policing operation will be lead by a very experienced team from the Public Order Branch at New Scotland Yard working closely with the local boroughs, and all of our partners.

"I was heartened by the way the people of Tower Hamlets showed unity and support for the challenges faced by police over the recent disorder and would urge people to support show us the same level of support this weekend. The best way to achieve this is to remain calm and carry on with business as normal."
For reference

This is a link to the Public Order Act which is the relevant legislation which permits the banning of marches and the control of public order.  The relevant sections are:
  • section 13 - Prohibiting public processions
  • section 14 - Imposing conditions on public assemblies
  • section 14a - Prohibiting trespassory assemblies
  • section 14b - Offences in connection with trespassory assemblies and arrest therefor
The prohibition is under section 13 of the Public Order Act which gives the Commissioner the power to do so with the consent of the Home Secretary in order to prevent serious public disorder. The prohibition does not apply to processions that are commonly or customarily held in the area or funeral processions (see note).
Metropolitan Police - Protest march prohibition 26th August 2011

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