Members of Netpol partner organisation Green and Black Cross (GBC) travelled to the East Midlands yesterday to provide training for activists at the new ‘Daneshill Community Protection Camp‘ on becoming effective legal observers. Continue reading
This post by David Cullen first appeared on the Open Democracy website.
On January 14th Dr. Steve Peers, a legal observer at the anti-fracking ‘protectors’ camp at Barton Moss, was filming three police officers arresting a protester. Video he took shows one of the officers realising they were being filmed, walking up to Steve and pushing him backwards onto the floor. Shortly afterwards another officer walked up to him and jostled him away from the arrest, pushing him down the road. This officer then started repeatedly asking if Steve had been drinking alcohol before aggressively asserting that he had and loudly claiming that Steve had admitted to doing so. Steve was then arrested for refusing to submit to breath test.
This article was written for and appears in amended form on the Open Democracy website
Today was the tenth anniversary of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), set up in 2004 to replace another public body, the Police Complaints Authority, which had been wholly discredited by its failures during the 1990s. A creation of recommendations made by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, the IPCC is charged with ‘increasing public confidence in the police complaints system in England and Wales’ as well as investigating serious complaints. It repeatedly claims to achieve this, but it has been mired in controversy throughout the last decade and in June 2011, its deputy chair Deborah Glass admitted to a private meeting that she accepted that “the police complaints system is not very effective and it doesn’t necessarily give people what they are seeking”. In 2013, a House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report found that the IPCC was “buried under the weight of poor police investigations” leaving the public “bewildered by its continued reliance on the very forces it is investigating”. Continue reading
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Today Netpol launches our new video guide to intelligence gathering on protesters – and how to deal with it. Many thanks to the samba band Barking Bateria, whom many will have seen on protests over the years, for providing us with the soundtrack for the video.
The guide is also available on our YouTube Channel
In February, the Home Office announced a consultation on proposals to update the covert human intelligence sources code of practice and the covert surveillance code of practice. The deadline for submissions was today.
As well as endorsing the submission by campaigners from Police Spies Out of Lives, we submitted the following comments.
As part of our campaign against the industrial-scale collection and retention of personal information on individual campaigners, Netpol has recently begun legal action that challenges the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police over the legality of their policies governing secret police databases.
Netpol wants to see these databases shut down, because there is every reason to believe that data gathered in secret, with no checks and balances and no effective accountability, is not only unnecessary and intrusive but also riddled with gossip and rumour.
Now we need your help to support our legal case. Continue reading