In the Media

Anna Thwaites acted for 30 cyclists arrested on eve of 2012 Olympic Games

PUBLISHED September 19, 2012

Thursday 20 September 2012 by Jonathan Rayner

Who? Anna Thwaites, 33, solicitor at London firm Hodge Jones & Allen.

Why is she in the news? Acted for 30 of 182 cyclists arrested on public order charges on the eve of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The cyclists, members of the Critical Mass group which holds monthly protest rides, were arrested on the edge of the Olympic Park while the opening ceremony was taking place. They say they were deprived of food and water for hours. Bail conditions included bans from the Olympic Park and having cycles confiscated until the games were finished.

All 30 of Thwaites' clients have now been told they face no further action. The Metropolitan Police said the 182 had been held on suspicion of breaching conditions imposed under section 12 of the Public Order Act.

Thoughts on the case: 'The police arrested 182 cyclists and have now said they will be taking no further action against all but 16 of them.

'The whole sorry affair seems to have been a case of an over-zealous police reaction to the general paranoia around the build-up to the Olympic Games.

'We consider there are potential civil claims for compensation against the police following the mistreatment of our clients and will be taking this further.'

Why become a lawyer? 'To defend people against the actions of the state, something that is even more important now that the Jackson reforms and changes to legal aid will confine access to the courts to the very rich or very poor.'

Career high: 'Represented a family whose son died in prison of an asthma attack. The coroner said the death was preventable and referred the matter to the director of public prosecutions (DPP).'

Career low: 'The same case as the career high, when the DPP decided not to pursue a criminal investigation.'