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Police: Protests — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:00 pm on 21st April 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Spokesperson for the Home Office 3:00 pm, 21st April 2009

My Lords, I welcome the Minister's reply, particularly the undertaking that the inquiry will look at whether the tactics were appropriate. Clearly, some were not and some were disgraceful. Does the Minister agree that there is a great need to endorse the public's right to peaceful protest, and that some of the culture that has grown up in police forces—filming people at protests as if they were suspects and, in the case of the Nottinghamshire police, raiding a planning meeting for a protest before anything had happened—are examples of protest having become, among some elements of the police, somewhat equated to criminal activity?