Tag Archives: police

Supreme Court’s Catt judgment ignores reality of surveillance and seriously undermines privacy & protest rights

Yesterday’s Supreme Court judgment ( press summary here) in the Catt case marks a missed opportunity to protect the privacy rights of protestors and instead waves through the police’s runaway mass surveillance operations. By a 4:1 majority the Court allowed the Met’s appeal against the 2013 Court of Appeal decision which had said that the retention of intelligence records on John Catt (a […]

Police intelligence obsession ignores law and balks at accountability

Three issues have come to light over the last few days which raise yet more concerns around police operations, privacy and freedom of expression.  All three have a common theme in that they all show the police’s willingness to flout the law and desire to actively obstruct those who challenge their unlawful actions.   1. […]

Life in the ‘Jungles’ of Calais

Yesterday, myself and five others got up early, left our homes and made our way to Calais. Unlike many others making this trip from the UK, we were not on a booze cruise or European road trip. Instead, we were travelling with all the warm winter donations we could squeeze into six backpacks and heading […]

Arrest Targets: We Do Not Consent

Rule of Targets British police allegedly act under a philosophy of policing by consent (‘the police are the public and the public are the police’, as the saying goes), which encompasses a number of principles set out in General Instructions given to new officers from 1829 onwards. In so many ways contemporary policing makes a […]

To arrest and intimidate: State determination to undermine dissent laid bare

Black Lives Matter The arrest of 76 protesters following a die-in at Westfield shopping centre in London on 10th December 2014 was not just outrageous and callous, but provides one of the clearest recent cases of the state’s current determination to stamp out protest by any means necessary. The protest, which was called by the London Black Revolutionaries, in conjunction with […]

‘No Comment’ – Two Big Words

In an age of intelligence-led policing, ‘no comment’ is of fundamental importance. Police, especially insidious Police Liaison Officers, use our innate human dispensation towards communication against those who dare to dissent; orders/questions barked out by agents of the state carry with them an implied threat of punishment for refusal. This provides police with an all-too-easy strategy for […]

FITs, ‘domestic extremism’ & privacy rights: the law so far

This week the Supreme Court will hear a crucial case regarding the surveillance of political activists and protestors via forward intelligence/evidence gatherer teams and the national domestic extremism database. Catt v Association of Chief Police Officers was brought by peace protestor John Catt, who upon submitting a subject access request to police discovered that they had […]

Reflections on London’s March for Gaza

It is easy to remain dubious over the efficacy of well-stewarded A-to-B protest marches, and I certainly felt pangs of apprehension as the march for Gaza set off from the Israeli Embassy yesterday (26th July 2014) – already hemmed in by barriers, stewards informed those not behind the organisers’ lead banners which side of the […]

#spycops victims seek end to Police’s ‘NCND’ wall of silence

See my previous posts on this case here, and the Police Spies Out of Lives campaign website here. The ongoing ‘spycops’ litigation continued this week in the High Court, as a group of the victim claimants asked the court to order the Metropolitan Police to file a proper defence to their legal claim.  Despite abandoning […]

Spycops Appeal: Partial Victory

The Court of Appeal yesterday ruled on the ‘spycops’ appeal which was heard in October.  I previously wrote about the appeal here  and commented on the undercover policing revelations in general here. The case is a complex one; there are essentially two sets of claims being brought by eight Claimants represented by two law firms.  The […]