The government has pushed through more and more draconian powers for the police to use against peaceful protestors. Yet trust in police integrity, standards and culture has never been lower. There are now six police services (including the Metropolitan Police) who are in special measures. Plus the government has launched their own review after numerous scandals have exposed issues with police recruitment and attitudes:
- the Charing Cross police station scandal;
- government inspectors raising “systemic concerns” about the Met, including its substandard response to emergency calls, “barely adequate” crime recording and a backlog of child abuse referrals;
- the Met was also criticised for its failure to deal with corruption.
- Legal immunity for officers from commiting crimes when spying on protestors.
- Ability to declare a protest is illegal if they feel it is too noisy, and to set time conditions on its duration.
- Ability to declare a protest illegal if it disrupts someone. Obstructing highways, even a local side road, can result in upto 51 weeks in prison.
The House of Lords does its best to curb Government excesses, but ultimately the power is with their huge MP majority in the Commons.