Notice of Street Processions

Part of Nottinghamshire County Council Bill [Lords] (By Order) – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 13th February 1983.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman , Southwark Peckham 7:45 pm, 13th February 1983

I shall mention just a few items. Hon. Members should bear in mind that the demonstrations might involve only 10 people, or small local marches. Nevertheless, there will be all that bureaucracy, and senior police officers will crunch into action requiring 20 items of information, including the name and address of the organiser. No doubt that will go on to police files. Many people do not mind having their names and addresses placed on police files. Indeed, I am sure that the names and addresses of many people are already held on police files. However, some people will wonder whether their names need to be placed on all the criminal records that the police keep simply because they are organising a perfectly peaceful demonstration. There is a whole load of other information that must be given in writing or at a meeting with senior police officers.

Once someone has decided, despite all the criminal offences listed, to go ahead, he must give that exhaustive list of information. He must wade through the 20 items of information and say, for example, whether or not flags, banners or emblems are to be carried. That is the very point that my hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Poplar (Mr. Mikardo) made. One must supply information about flags, banners or emblems, and presumably senior police officers can say whether or not one is allowed to carry them.