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Mon October 18 2021

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'Obstructing construction' to become a criminal offence

6 Oct The Home Office is planning to introduce new legislation to lock up protesters who disrupt transportation or construction.

Governemnt is taking action after several instances of Insulate Britain protesters blocking traffic. [Image from Insulate Britain's Twitter feed]]
Governemnt is taking action after several instances of Insulate Britain protesters blocking traffic. [Image from Insulate Britain's Twitter feed]]

After recent motorway blockages by demonstrators from Insulate Britain, home secretary Priti Patel has promised action against protestors, including creating a new offence of obstructing the construction of authorised infrastructure.

There will be tougher sentences for those who obstruct highways, she said.  Those guilty of obstructing a highway could face an unlimited fine and/or six months’ imprisonment. Currently, the maximum fine is £1,000.

The same penalties will be made available to courts for those who block construction projects.

Criminal disruption prevention orders will enable courts to impose restrictions on people who repeatedly cause disruption or engage in criminal activity at a protest.

Police will get new powers to be able stop and search anyone who looks like they might be planning to cause disruption.

A suite of amendments will be introduced to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill in the House of Lords to implement the reforms.

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