Hunting: Demonstrations

Home Office written question – answered on 11th March 2015.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps police forces are taking to prosecute anti-hunt protestors who wear masks and balaclavas to hide their identities.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Face coverings can be worn in public places for a variety of legitimate

reasons. In the context of a public order situation, where face coverings are

being worn with the express intention of concealing identity, section 60AA of

the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 enables a police officer in

uniform to require any person to remove any item which the officer reasonably

believes is being worn wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing their

identity. Section 60AA also enables a police officer in uniform to seize any

item which they reasonably believe any person intends to use to conceal their


A refusal to comply with a direction under this section of the Act is

punishable by a fine of up to £1,000 and/or one month’s imprisonment.

These powers only apply in the locality and for the period for which an

authorisation under section 60 or section 60AA of the Act has been given by a

police officer of the rank of inspector or above. An inspector’s authorisation

lasts for a maximum period of 24 hours, unless a police officer of the rank of

superintendent or above authorises their use for a further 24 hours.

Where applicable those in the office of constable must observe the requirements

of the Codes of Practice under The Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984

governing the removal of headgear a copy of which is available in the House of

Commons Library.

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