Recently thousands of Protesters in the United Kingdom are protesting against the new legislation introduced in the British Parliament. The new legislation is called the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, 2021. The protests against the bill have been named as “Kill the Bill” protest.
Why is Police and Crime Bill being passed?
Presently, UK Police is using public order legislation called the Public Order Act, 1986 to manage the protests in the country. However, according to the UK Government, this legislation is no longer fit to manage the types of protests that are faced in the country. The “April Uprising” is being cited as an example where the protests went out of control. The UK Police spent $16 million to control the April Uprising.
Features of the Bill
- The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, 2021 widens the range of conditions that the police shall impose on protests. They can impose conditions such as start and finish times. Also, they can fix maximum permissible noise in static protests.
- It will introduce a statutory offence of public nuisance. This means that it will provide clarity on forbidden conducts such as producing smells or noise, dangerous behaviour in public (like hanging from bridges, etc).
- If the protestors fail to follow police directions in conducting the protests, they shall be fined up to 2,500 Euros.
- Maximum sentences for assaults against the emergency service workers.
- It provides powers to closely monitor offenders released from prison.
Why are the people protesting against the bill?
- According to the critics, the provisions of the bill will provide more rights to the police to control and monitor the protests in the country.
- The Labour Party of United Kingdom opposes the following provisions of the bill:
- The bill criminalises protestors even for making noise.
- It also accuses persons for creating serious annoyance or serious inconvenience. Such persons can be imprisoned for a period for 10 years.