Kurdish protesters who wilfully blocked the M4 Severn Crossing for a considerable time on October 12, 2014 are not to be prosecuted by Gwent Police.
Although we have sympathy with the protesters aims we are appalled by the hypocrisy, double standards and spectacular inequality shown by Gwent police
The FOI request below may be very useful; while the book has been thrown at many New Fathers 4 Justice campaigners, Kurdish protesters who did exactly the same thing are to get off ‘Scott’ free, according to the Gwent police.
The police actively pursued a prosecution against Archi Ssan who was fined £600 for climbing on Newport Transporter and this protest caused less disruption .
In 2004 four Second Severn crossing Gantry protesters were prosecuted and faced two trials before eventually being convicted for causing a public nuisance.Geoff Hibbert was jailed for climbing on a bridge over the M25.
From: Freedom Of Information <FOI@gwent.pnn.police.uk>
Date: 17 October 2014 14:39:30 BST
To: New Fathers 4 Justice
Subject: Freedom of Information Request 2014/17256 [NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED]
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Freedom of Information Request 2014/17256
Thank you for your recent request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which was received in this office on the 14th October 2014.
Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties on public authorities. Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at, Section 1(1) (a), is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a request is held. The second duty at, Section1 (1) (b), is to disclose information that has been confirmed as being held.
Under the provisions of those sections of FOIA, I can confirm that information you requested is partially held by Gwent Police for the below questions so we are only able to partially comply with your request to supply information.
The information that you are seeking is in relation to the following:
- It has been widely reported that a group of protesters wilfully blocked the M4 Severn Crossing for a considerable time on October 12, 2014 (“the original protest”). The original protest was dangerous, a public nuisance, unreasonably disruptive and substantial. It is self-evidently in the Public Interest that this should not be repeated and steps should be taken to deter it. It is also apparent that these protestors, in deliberately blocking the motorway and walking upon it, contravened several laws designed to address such threats to public safety and disruption, including but not limited to:
Highway Code 270: You MUST NOT stop on the carriageway, hard shoulder, slip road, central reservation or verge except in an emergency, or when told to do so by the police, HA traffic officers in uniform, an emergency sign or by flashing red light signals. Do not stop on the hard shoulder to either make or receive mobile phone calls. Laws MT(E&W)R regs 5A, 7, 9, 10 & 16,MT(S)R regs 6(1), 8, 9 & 14, PRA 2002 sect 41 & sched 5(8), & RTA 1988 sects 35 & 163 as amended by TMA 2004, sect 6.
Highway Code 271: You MUST NOT pick up or set down anyone, or walk on a motorway, except in an emergency. Laws RTRA sect 17 & MT(E&W)R reg 15.
Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980.
Could you please inform me (treating this as a Freedom on Information Request):
- Do the Gwent Police consider the original protest lawful or unlawful?
- If the original protest was considered lawful, why is it considered lawful?
- If the original protest is considered lawful why was it stopped?
- Why, after the original protest, did the Gwent Police permit the offences to continue [reportedly] “at the side of the toll booths” in contravention of the law for over an hour?
- Have any charges been brought against the relevant protestors and if so what charges have been brought in what number?
- If charges have not be brought, why have they not been brought and will they be brought?
- If charges have not been brought can I equally expect not be prosecuted for similar offences, or for a much lesser offence in the same area, such as contravening the motorway speed limit?
- (a) This question is not a valid question under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Freedom of Information Act concerns ‘recorded’ information, as defined by section 84 of the Act.
(b) This question is not a valid question under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Freedom of Information Act concerns ‘recorded’ information, as defined by section 84 of the Act.
(c) This question is not a valid question under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Freedom of Information Act concerns ‘recorded’ information, as defined by section 84 of the Act.
(d) This question is not a valid question under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Freedom of Information Act concerns ‘recorded’ information, as defined by section 84 of the Act.
(f) No charges are to be brought at this time. The police facilitated a peaceful protest, the second location to which the protest was moved does not constitute part of a special road for the purpose of the road traffic Act.
(g) This question is not a valid question under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Freedom of Information Act concerns ‘recorded’ information, as defined by section 84 of the Act.
The Freedom of Information Act is a public disclosure regime, not a private regime. Any information disclosed under the Act is thereafter deemed to be in the public domain, and therefore freely available to the general public and will be published on the Gwent Police website. Please note: If you are unhappy with the information provided in this disclosure and require a review, you will need to apply within 20 working days of the date of this disclosure.
I hope this information is satisfactory to your request however, should you feel dissatisfied with this response or the way in which your request was handled, I have attached the Gwent Police FOI Appeals Procedure for your information.
Thank you for your interest in Gwent Police.
Swyddog Rhyddid Gwybodaeth / Freedom of Information Officer
Ystafell 195 / Room 195
Heddlu Gwent Police,
Pencadlys yr Heddlu / Police HQ,
Cwmbrân / Cwmbran
Ffôn / Tel: 01633 643014
Mewnol / Internal: 710 2006
E-bost / Email: email@example.com
Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod modd gweld gwybodaeth am Heddlu Gwent drwy Gynllun Cyhoeddi a Chofnod Datgeliadau Heddlu Gwent? Mae’r ddau ar gael drwy’r ddolen isod:
Did you know you can access information about Gwent Police via the Gwent Police Publication Scheme and Disclosure Log? Both are available via the below link:
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