In the Media

Update for public order laws

PUBLISHED December 1, 2006

Police may be given powers to ban demonstrators from wearing offensive uniforms or equipment such as fake suicide bomb belts under reforms being considered by ministers and senior commanders.

Modernisation of the public order legislation is being considered by Lord Goldsmith, QC, the Attorney-General, following protests in London earlier this year over the Danish newspaper cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. Yesterday, Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said that Scotland Yard had been asked to submit possible changes covering at least two areas. 
He told the Metropolitan Police Authority that police were concerned that they could only apply limited conditions to demonstrations. They could establish the timing and the route, but little else. Sir Ian also said that there was concern at the limits on police making arrests. Officers wanted the powers of arrest simplified.