Kill the Bill protests leads to more than 18 arrests in Manchester


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Thousands of people have participated in Kill the Bill marches around the country in recent weeks.

A series of protests in Bristol have made headlines, with videos of violence erupting between police and demonstrators widely posted on social media.

Meanwhile, 18 people were arrested in Manchester yesterday during a march, and relatively peaceful marches were held this weekend in Nottingham, Sheffield, Bradford, and Cambridge.

Hundreds of people gathered at The Level in Brighton yesterday and marched to the city's police station in John Street, where they stayed for more than four hours, on and off.

The Cause of Demonstrations 

The Kill the Bill demonstrations are a public display of opposition to the government's proposed Policing, Crime, Punishment, and Courts Bill, which seeks to reform the justice system.

The bill, which passed its second reading on March 15, contains measures to overhaul probation, the judiciary, and the prosecution of prisoners.

It does, however, suggest legislation on demonstrations, which have sparked the most outrage.

The bill aims to strengthen the police's ability to deal with "non-violent" demonstrations that are considered to be seriously detrimental to the public or to access to Parliament.

"Intentionally or recklessly causing a public disturbance" is one of the charges.

An individual commits this crime if they inflict "real harm to the public," which involves "serious irritation, serious inconvenience, or serious loss of amenity," according to the bill. Those found guilty could face a fine or even prison time.

According to the Home Office, this replaces an existing common law offense of public nuisance in England and Wales with a criminal offense of causing public nuisance knowingly or recklessly.

Police will also be given the power to enforce further restrictions on static gatherings, such as time and noise limits, as well as apply the rules to one-person demonstrations, according to the proposals.

Meanwhile, under the bill, the government wants to raise the statutory punishment for criminal damage to a memorial from three months to ten years.

Concerns have been expressed about the impact this would have on the traveler's culture.

"Unauthorized encampments can pose major challenges for local authorities and cause distress and suffering to those who live nearby," the government says.

"They also often depict the vast majority of law-abiding travelers in a negative light."

"As we promised in our Manifesto, we would make it illegal to live in a car on private property without permission."

"The new offense has been designed to protect ramblers' and others' rights to enjoy the countryside. We would also grant the police the authority to seize vehicles and reinforce existing forces."

Publish : 2021-03-29 11:01:00

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