Protesters climbing war memorials could face three months in jail | UK | News

February 4, 2024
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Protesters who scale war memorials could face up to three months behind bars under the Home Office plans.

Home Secretary James Cleverly announced plans to give police new powers after a group of pro-Palestine activists scaled the Royal Artillery Memorial in London.

The government now intends to make climbing war memorials a specific offence.

Cleverly said climbing memorials is “an insult” and something that “cannot continue”, reports the BBC.

Cleverly said it was a change that would punish protesters who are “insulting those who paid the ultimate price for their freedom to protest”.

As well as three months behind bars, anyone committing the new offence could be fined up to £1,000.

The new offence would be introduced as part of the Criminal Justice Bill that is currently going through parliament. It would cover England and Wales.

The Home Office says the new legislation would be part of a wider plan that would aim at cracking down on disorder at protests

In November the government unveiled plans to give police more powers to tackle protests.

The announcement came as a group of protesters during a pro-Palestine demo were spotted climbing the Hyde Park Corner memorial.

At the time, Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said the actions were “inflammatory”. He did however say they had broken no laws.

Sir Mark said it was up to politicians to consider whether police should be given more power to respond to protesters.



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