Day: 14 March 2021

Policing by consent in question after Clapham Common, police report and government bill on crime and justice

This article was first published on Lib Dem Voice. The scenes on Clapham Common last night as the police broke up the vigil for Sarah Everard were a disgrace and undermine the fundamental principle of policing by consent. Leading Lib Dems have called on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign. It was not a protest. It was a statement of solidarity with a woman who had been abducted from the streets of London and murdered. It was a declaration that women should be safe on the streets. Lib Dem Voice editor Caron Lindsay told of her personal experiences yesterday. The UK’s tradition of policing by consent is being replaced by policing by authority. Legislation now in parliament looks set to reinforce authority at the expense of the fundamental right of freedom to protest. A tectonic shift in the relationship between protesters, governments and the police is underway. We have seen this on the international stage. The suppression of protests in Hong Kong, Myanmar and Iran and the police reaction to the protests following the death of George Floyd are just a few examples. Not everyone in the police is in favour of growing authoritarianism. They stand above calls…

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