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Climate Protests in Cambridge: Police Response

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:01 pm on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 4:01 pm, 3rd March 2020

That is something that is always kept under careful review. My colleague, the Minister for Crime, Police and the Fire Service, is, unfortunately, at a conference this afternoon so cannot attend this debate, but I will ask him to write to my hon. Friend on that question. Perhaps the best thing is for him to write to my hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire on this College of Policing question, just to explore it a little further.

In relation to police powers, which was raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington, we have listened to police concerns regarding the challenges that they face managing protests. They have indicated that existing protest legislation can, in some places, be cumbersome, so Home Office officials have been working closely with senior Met officers, and also national policing leads to understand how we can make the existing public order legislation more effective if needed. That is ongoing at the moment.

In conclusion, we fully respect the right to peaceful protest. It is the foundation of our democracy, but that right does not include committing criminal acts, and we do expect the police to uphold the law. Once again, I thank my hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire for bringing this matter to the House’s attention.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.