Stansted 15 must be freed

We urgently need new legislation to exempt those taking part in non-violent direct action from all the anti-terrorism legislation that has been passed in previous years. That legislation was not (we hope) designed to throw peaceful protestors into prison, but it is now being used to jail fifteen citizens whose ‘crime’ was to stand in the way of deporting people, some of whom have subsequently won the right to remain. Continue reading “Stansted 15 must be freed”

Latest Podcast

Ending the war on drugs and what happens next, with ex-undercover officer Neil Woods

‘The Drugs War’ with ex undercover officer NeilWoodsNeil has authored two fascinating books about his experiences as an undercover cop turned whistle blower. Neil joins me to give us his insights on the war against drugs and explain: how drugs money has caused escalating violence on the streets; why younger children are being used; how drugs money supports others forms of crime and leads to endemic corruption in our police force. Continue reading “Latest Podcast”

Next podcast out soon!

Out in a few days will be Episode 5 ‘The Drugs War’ with ex undercover officer Neil Woods. Neil has authored two fascinating books about his experiences as an undercover cop turned whistle blower. Neil joins me to give us his insights on the war against drugs and explain how drugs money has caused endemic corruption in our police force.

Episode 6, out in December, will be ‘The Bogus War on Gangs’ with Stafford Scott. Stafford was a co-founder of the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign in 1985, and is now a consultant on racial equality and community engagement. He tweets as @StaffordScott and we can look forward to his book!

Previous episodes here

Crowdfunder to support Jenny’s work

Please support our work

Unlike MPs, who receive state funding, members of the House of Lords don’t receive any financial support to employ staff or fund office costs.

As the only Green in the House of Lords, covering as many issues as I can, I need staff to help me with research and press work. I have a small, part time team (equivalent to one full time person) who are paid for from donations from people like you. Continue reading “Crowdfunder to support Jenny’s work”

Child spies doing police work on: terrorism, gang violence and sexual exploitation

I was shocked to learn this week that the police and other public authorities are legally allowed to use children as spies. I only found out because the Government wants to change the rules, so that rather than authorising a child to spy for only one month at a time, they can be authorised for a whole four months.

I want to state this very clearly, because most people won’t know: children are being used by the State to infiltrate criminal groups and do dangerous police work. Continue reading “Child spies doing police work on: terrorism, gang violence and sexual exploitation”

The police are making political choices about domestic extremism

Why are the police making political choices about who is and is not an extremist? The Hunt Saboteurs Association was founded in 1963 and advocating non-violent tactics, which has been put in a police document alongside such groups as Boko Haram, Taliban, National Action and Combat 18. This follows some regional police services including anti-fracking protestors in their Prevent material for schools and colleges. I can understand the argument that it is better for professional police officers to make specific decisions about organisations, rather than politicians via the Home Office, but that logic only holds true if the criteria are clear and the reasoning explained. Continue reading “The police are making political choices about domestic extremism”

Government given Thursday deadline on court action over facial recognition

My solicitors have written to the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police giving them until the 28th June to either stop using automated facial recognition technology or prove that they have a lawful basis to use it. This is their final chance before Big Brother Watch and I jointly initiate judicial review proceedings in the High Court, where we will ask a judge to rule that automated facial recognition is an unlawful breach of our human rights. Continue reading “Government given Thursday deadline on court action over facial recognition”

Remembering the police who put their lives on the line to keep us safe

It is one year since the tragedy in which five people were killed and 50 injured, as Khalid Masood ploughed a 4×4 vehicle into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed unarmed police constable Keith Palmer to death as he stood on duty outside the Houses of Parliament. We are marking these awful events at Westminster with a minute’s silence.

It is an appropriate moment to remember all those police officers who put their lives on the line to keep us, the public, safe. Two weeks ago I wrote to Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, to ask that she does something to improve the working conditions of the armed officers on duty here.

Dear Commissioner

Over the past few months I’ve become increasingly concerned about the wellbeing and effectiveness of the armed officers who patrol the Palace of Westminster, both inside and outside. As the weather has got worse during the winter, two things have become obvious.

First, the welfare of the officers is under threat. Many have nowhere to shelter when it rains or snows, nor when the wind is strong. If they get wet during their two hour tour of duty, it’s almost impossible to dry out their clothes properly in their one hour off duty.

Secondly, cold, wet armed officers are potentially ineffective against a terrorist threat. Handling a weapon with cold hands is less than ideal, tactically inefficient and possibly even dangerous.

There are ways of improving the situation, eg supplying canvas shelter as at No 10 or the erection of more bulletproof guard houses as elsewhere on the estate, offering (discreet) hot drinks on cold wet days, or supplying properly waterproof kit, including caps. And they should be supplied with waterproof gloves, not have to buy their own.

I have raised this within the Palace of Westminster with peers but have had little support for improvement. I can’t help but feel that if I were arguing for police horses or police dogs, they would not be left exposed to the weather like the officers.

I hope you can do something quickly before the weather gets worse again.