According to a police spokesman, existing rules cannot be used to discipline ‘New era’ demonstrators.
According to police, decades-old public order rules are insufficient for the current “period of protest,” in which “people are protesting over everything and everything.”
They did, however, advise motorists not to retaliate against Insulate Britain protestors who have become infamous for blocking roads and highways. On Friday, a splinter faction of the Extinction Rebellion attacked the M25 and London. Motorists were seen hauling them off the road because they were obstructing ambulances, according to video. However, authorities have cautioned that confronting them will only add to the delays.
Chris Noble, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on policing protests, has urged for more “clear, current, and enforceable regulations and authorities.” Many public order regulations, he noted, are over 30 years old, and protest action is “dynamic and ever-changing.”
Last week, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced criminal disruption prevention orders at the Conservative Party conference in an attempt to discourage activists from returning to protests. She also announced that people suspected of carrying materials to attach themselves to highways would be subject to stop-and-search powers.
Those who blockade routes could face prison penalties of up to six months, up from a £1,000 fine, according to Ms Patel. “We need to explore what tools she can give my colleagues to help,” John Apter said in response to the developments. He called demonstrators “beyond dangerous,” but defended officers who were accused of being too gentle. “Colleagues are being unduly chastised by those who have no understanding of policing or how police powers work,” Mr Apter said. Meanwhile, despite police sympathizing with how inconvenient the protests have been, Mr Noble has cautioned the public not to take matters into their own hands.
“What these protesters are doing is illegal,” he stated. People’s and businesses’ lives are being disrupted, highways are being obstructively blocked, and police time is being wasted. We absolutely understand and share the problems of [drivers].
“However, we ask that members of the public please let the police to deal with those who are protesting.” If police are called to intercede between the public and demonstrators, they will be diverted away from the protest and the road will be reopened. These incidents will be dealt with whenever they occur.” Meanwhile, Liam Norton, the leader of Insulate Britain, says he and other activists are astonished they haven’t been arrested yet, saying: “Brinkwire Summary News.”