Latest Podcast out

Green Jenny Jones talk to Shane Collins about how to decriminalise drugs

I worked with Shane for years in the London Green Party, before he moved to Frome and got himself elected to Mendip District Council. He has been very involved with writing the Green Party’s policy on drugs, as well as campaigns like Reclaim the Streets in the 1990s.

In a previous episode of Jen’s Green Jam I spoke to an ex-undercover police officer, Neil Woods about the war on drugs and how it has affected law enforcement, in this episode we are going to be talking about Britain’s drug policy and thinking about the practicalities of reforming the government’s approach to drugs.

Shane discusses:

  1. Some of the big things that worry people about drugs are the addiction potential and the health impacts – how do we best address those concerns?
  2. The different models of legalisation and decriminalisation. Is there a one size fits all solution or is it more nuanced than that?
  3. What is the ideal drug policy and how do we get from where we are now to that ideal?
  4. Do we think that drugs gangs will just disappear or turn into tax paying businesspeople?
  5. How do we ensure that we protect vulnerable people like kids and people who struggle with addiction?
  6. What is holding the UK back from a better drug policy?
  7. Lots of countries around the world are moving away from criminalisation and trying different approaches, so are there any specific places that we should be looking to for inspiration?
  8. It looks like the Government is softening its stance on medicinal cannabis, what can we expect when they publish some new guidance later this year?
  9. What can individuals and communities do to help make a positive change?

Letter to Minister about systematic use of child spies

Dear Minister

Thank you for your positive response to my Oral Question on 18th March when I raised the issue of juveniles being used as Covert Human Intelligence Sources. As I mentioned during my question, I have information provided by a whistle-blower that there appear to be formal targets being set for regions to increase the use of juvenile CHIS to help in the tackling of county lines’ drug gangs. Continue reading “Letter to Minister about systematic use of child spies”

Latest podcast

Jenny talks to Mike Schwarz, civil liberties lawyer, about the right to protest

Mike Schwarz has been a human rights lawyer at Bindmans for 25 years. He has represented numerous campaigners, including all three of Jenny’s part time staff. He describes the ups and downs of the right to protest over those years. Continue reading “Latest podcast”

Question to Minister on protecting the right to protest

Today around 3pm I’ll be raising the issue of freedom to protest with questions to the Government in the House of Lords about the Court of Appeal’s striking out an injunction obtained by INEOS in a secret court. The successful appeal was brought by two individuals and Friends of the Earth, representing an enormous victory for the right to protest. It will hopefully pave the way for more successful appeals by peaceful protestors who have had their human rights restricted by the frackers and other environmental vandals. Continue reading “Question to Minister on protecting the right to protest”

Minister agrees to examine police whistle-blower claim on child spies

I have asked the government to investigate a claim by a whistle-blower that the police are setting targets for regional police services to increase the use of juveniles as Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) as part of their efforts to combat county lines drug gangs. The whistle-blower approached my office with the information, but I can not verify the claim and have asked the Minister in the Lords to find out if this is happening. Continue reading “Minister agrees to examine police whistle-blower claim on child spies”

Government will count number of spy kids used by police

At last, after much nagging, the government is starting to count the number of juveniles used as police spies, or as they call them, Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS). In a Lords’ debate, peers criticised the government for extending to four months the time that children can be used by the police before the operation is reviewed and can be extended. I have organised another airing of this issue with an oral question to the Minister on 18th March. 

Continue reading “Government will count number of spy kids used by police”

Taser use needs radical rethink

Since the introduction of Tasers to the UK police force in 2003, the number of officers carrying tasers, as well as the number of incidents involving tasers, has grown dramatically. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, there were 18,000 reported incidents involving tasers, which have disproportionately affected black people and people with mental disabilities.

Continue reading “Taser use needs radical rethink”

The police helped blacklist trade unionists

Unfortunately I couldn’t be at the meeting organised by the Blacklist Support Group but this is my message of support:

It’s been a privilege to be allied with the Blacklist Support Group in their exposure of the corruption within the police. There are direct links between the lives ruined by blacklisting, the spying on people labelled domestic extremists like myself, and the invasion of many women’s lives by undercover police. Political policing has been a nasty reality in this country for decades and I stand in solidarity with all those trade unionists and campaigners who have worked hard to expose the lies and deceits which state sponsored spying has inflicted on innocent people.

Further questions on child spies

The police now have a four-month period before they have to review the deployment of individual child spies. I want to know if this change in the rules by the government will lead to the police using child spies more frequently. As well as putting forward a series of written questions (below), I will ask this question of the Government on 18thMarch:

“Further to the Regret Motion of 16 October 2018, what assessment has Her Majesties Government made of the recruitment, use, deployment, numbers and oversight of children used as spies by the Police?” Continue reading “Further questions on child spies”