Crimes While Protesting: Prosecutions

Part of Attorney General – in the House of Commons at on 9 May 2024.

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Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts The Solicitor-General

I thank my hon. Friend for raising this extremely pertinent and concerning point. The police already have a full suite of powers under section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986—as well as some relating to criminal damage, the offence to which he referred. To ensure that they act, the Government have, however, reinforced those powers under the Public Order Act 2023. The Crown Prosecution Service is working closely with the police in, for instance, providing round-the-clock charging advice nationally. My hon. Friend is right: it is unacceptable that those who are taking part in legitimate democratic processes commit criminal damage, and it is also utterly unacceptable that, for example, Jewish people feel threatened. The Government expect the full powers available to the police to be used so that offenders can be prosecuted.