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Latest news from the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) - March 2016 update

Latest news from Netpol

March 2016 update



Policing of anti-fracking remains a war of nerves between police and protesters

Early in March we reported on a visit to the Horse Hill Community Protection Camp in Surrey, where anti-fracking activists attempting to protest against a test site near Gatwick airport faced coordinated disruption by the local police.

The policing of opposition to fracking is a core area of our work and on 16 March, Netpol raised questions on the way policing operations are conducted with senior officers at a conference in Derby organised by the National Police Chiefs Council. You can read our explanation of why we felt it was important to attend this event here and see the presentation we gave here.

The assistant chief constable who led the conference had pledged, in closing remarks, to provide a written response to a briefing of detailed questions we produced last summer, but within 24 hours we faced considerable backtracking on this promise. We continue to seek answers on the guidance police forces around the country receive on dealing with anti-fracking protests – look out for further updates in the coming months.  

For more information on our campaigning work on the policing of anti-fracking protest, see netpol.org/campaigns/anti-fracking
 



Shut down ‘Security and Policing 2016’

The demonstration held outside the Home Office on 9 March, organised by an alliance of groups including Netpol to publicise the secretive ‘Security and Policing’ trade fair in Farnborough, attracted wide publicity: not least because our publicity posters were enlarged by the activist group SPG and displayed on bus shelters around central London.

You can find out more about the protest here and there is an album of images here.


Interested in joining Netpol's steering group?

We are currently recruiting for one or two new members of our busy steering group. We are looking for activists with knowledge, experience or expertise in highlighting and challenging disproportionate or excessive policing, who have a commitment to defending the rights of individuals against the coercive power of the state and who understand the impact of public order policing on protests and on local communities.

We particularly welcome potential steering group members who are from and who have experience working within BME and migrant communities.

The steering group meets monthly in central London to plan and oversee Netpol's campaigning, advocacy and lobbying work, with members taking an active role in working alongside and supporting our Coordinator in an unpaid capacity (although expenses are available to cover travel and childcare). There is an expectation that steering group members will attend at least four meetings a year.

If you are interested, please email us setting out your background and saying why you would like to become a Netpol steering group member.

 



Can you spare £3 a month to support us?

We know there so many fantastic organisations seeking funds, but when we say Netpol runs on a shoestring, we really mean it. Can you spare just £3 a month to help support our campaigning activities?

You can find out how at netpol.org/about/donations - we really appreciate any help you can offer. 
 

Other News and Events

  • EVENT: Parliamentary launch of 'Keep Moving! A Report into the Policing of the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp' at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 19 April. More details here.
     
  • EVENT: Green and Black Cross London Legal Observer training – at SOAS on Sunday 17 April. More details here.
     
  • EVENT: Undercover policing, democracy and human rights – a public meeting at the University of Manchester on Thursday 14 April. Find out more here.
     
  • EVENT: Subversion, sabotage & spying - Political policing & state racism in the UK – a two-day conference on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April at London Southbank University, organised by The Monitoring Group and the Centre for Crime & Justice Studies. Further details here.
     
  • Large “surge” stop-and-search operations by the police has no discernible effect in reducing crime, according to newly released Home Office research.
     
  • A public inquiry into the fatal police shooting of Anthony Grainger has been announced by the Home Secretary.
     
  • Police are desperate to keep secret the work of its undercover spies during the Pitchford Inquiry, but a leaked letter shows how in 2002 they keenly supported a BBC television programme revealing details of covert operations. Campaigner Helen Steel explains why, if the Pitchford public inquiry into discredited undercover operations takes place in secret, justice will be denied again.
     
  • Two Bedfordshire Police officers are facing a misconduct hearing over their treatment of an autistic man in Luton. Find out more here.
     
  • The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot dead by armed police in London in 2005, have lost their European court battle for prosecution of the individual officers who killed him. A statement by the family is available here.
     
  • Sussex Police has paid out almost £220,000 in damages to innocent victims of bungled arrests and violent policing in the past three years. Further details here.
     
  • The Metropolitan Police have apologised and paid out damages for the false arrest and assault of a 20-year-old at the 2010 student demonstrations - over five years after he had his tooth knocked out by an officer's riot shield. Watch the Channel 4 News report here.
     

ABOUT NETPOL

The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) seeks to monitor public order, protest and street policing that is excessive, discriminatory or threatens civil rights. We are a network of activists, campaigners, lawyers and researchers sharing knowledge, experience and expertise to effectively challenge policing tactics and strategies that are damaging to the freedoms of all sections of our society.
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