13 January 2022
The government’s Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill (the Policing Bill) reaches a crucial stage this month. If the Bill is passed, it would remove some of our most basic democratic rights and freedoms - including the freedom to peacefully protest - and would enable the government, or future governments, to turn the UK into a police state.
Cambridge Green Party Cllr for Abbey Ward Naomi Bennett said: "It's not just protesters who are worried about the bill. The bill sets the threshold for a criminal offence so low that complying with the bill would place an impossible burden on the police. A single activist with a placard is no threat to anyone - but it's potentially a crime under this bill.
"Everyone knows that our police are overstretched and demoralised after years of tory budget cuts and are already struggling to protect our community from real crimes.
If the bill goes ahead, officers will be diverted from dealing with far more serious problems like county lines, knife crime and violent crime to deal with what is at worst a minor inconvenience.
Even if you have never gone on a protest march in your life, even if you occasionally find a protest mildly inconvenient, I urge you to oppose this ill-conceived and excessive bill which threatens all our hopes to lead a safe and peaceful lives."
Images: Councillors Hannah Copley and Naomi Bennett alongside other Green Party members at the recent COP26 march