What Is UK’s New Police And Crime Bill And Why Are People Protesting Against It?
People in huge numbers in the UK have been protesting in Bristol against the new bill called the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 introduced in the British parliament.
What is the bill about?
The bill contains various provisions that will widen the range of conditions that the police can impose on static protests that will significantly augment the police and state powers to crackdown on protests.
This means that the Bill allows the police to impose conditions such as start and finish times and maximum noise levels during the static protests. The police can already impose such conditions on marches.
The bill also aims at broadening the range of circumstances in which the conditions can be imposed by the police on a protest, including a single person protest, to include whether a significant impact is caused on those in the vicinity of serious disruption to the running of an organisation.
With this, the bill will also introduce a statutory offence of public nuisance recommended by the Law Commission, which means there will be clarity about the kinds of conduct that are forbidden such as –
– Producing excessive noise or smells
– Behaving offensively or dangerously in public such as hanging from bridges.
– The protesters shall also be fined up to €2500 who fail to follow police directions in conducting the protest.
– The said bill gives powers to closely monitor offenders released from prisons.
Why is the bill been protested by the people in the UK?
The critics of the Bill opine that the provisions of the Bill would allow more powers to the police to control and monitor the protests.
Following provisions of the Bill are opposed by the Labour Party of UK –
-The Bill seeks to criminalise protesters even for making noise.
-It also accuses and holds people liable for creating serious annoyance or serious inconvenience and such people can be imprisoned for a period of 10 years.
It has been pointed out by some critics that the Home Secretary has rushed to pass legislation instead of scrutinising it.