MAFF repel equipment
Tape every phone call, you can buy from Maplin under "Telephone" then "Recording" http://www.maplin.co.uk/mainframe.asp
You will also need a tape recorder with microphone socket
Maplin Telephone Orders: 0870 264 6000
MAFF tend to LIE and it is useful to record this and any intimidation using lies.
MAFF men don't like being videod, especially slaughtermen. Record everything. If digital you can give to TV or send via computer.
Burgess Salmon 0117 939 2000
1. MAFF(ia) cannot stop you taking photographs / video of their actions.
Think of the video footage the police use up when attending football matches or the like. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
2. The police have no right to stop you taking photographs / video in the confines of your own establishment or in "open spaces".
However if you are taking such photos of "Restricted Areas" (eg inside an RAF Base) then obviously security issues dictate you do not.
Having been an airline pilot, I know there are lots of countries you cannot (well by law) take photographs of from the air; Spain / Italy / Malta / Portugal / Austria / Greece / Israel to name a few !
Getting back on the ground here in the UK !
3. The police cannot have any grounds for stealing your camera - for that is what they would be doing. There are no laws that I know of that prohibit photography for the purposes you elude to.
4. If you strongly believe an illgeal act is being carried out, then for the purposes of prosecution, it would be wise to have photographic evidence. Imagine a thief busy at work trying to steal your car and you have in on camera, full face shot, what a ACE card up your sleeve when he says "Not Guilty" to the charge.
What would "Crime Watch" do without the help of all those CCTV shots that bring robbers and muggers to heal ?
What would the police do without all the "Big Brother" cameras all over the motorways to watch for accidents/ incidents ? The public can't say, "Hey! you can't video my driving"......likewise, 'they' can't say, "Hey! You can't video that man slaughtering your healthy animals" !!!
5. Being requested to STOP filming is just that - you can decline the request, as it is in your opinion infringing on your Human Rights to enjoy the freedoms of a private individual etc etc.
6. Ref the Army stopping you filming - unless they send a detachment of SAS from Hereford, then they have nothing to hide. SAS men are always non-attributable and 'secret' in their operations, and such security precludes seeing their faces or their modus operandi.
Here is more information which may help. It is copied from a site about resisting the building of By-Passes etc. but the theory carries forward to this MAFFia business.
This is a new offence created by sections 68 and 69 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJA). The offence consists of intimidating, deterring, obstructing or disrupting persons attempting to carry out any lawful activity on land in the open air. This applies to roadbuilding. Note that for these sections to apply, both the roadbuilder and the protestor must be on land in the open air, not in a building. It would also be a defence to show that the activity you were trying to disrupt was not lawful, or that you honestly believed that it was not lawful.
Surprisingly, "land in the open air" does not include roads, so you could in theory stand on the old road and attempt to deter or disrupt people working on the new road, for example by talking to them (but not by throwing things, as this is a form of trespass).
If a police officer reasonably believes that you are committing, have committed or intend to commit aggravated trespass, he can direct you to leave the land. If you fail to leave as soon as practicable, you commit an offence and can be arrested, even if you haven't done anything.
Breach of the Peace
"There is a breach of the peace whenever harm is actually done or threatened to be done or is likely to be done to a person, or in his presence to his property, or a person is in fear of being so harmed through assault, an affray, a riot, unlawful assembly or other disturbance:" R v Howell (1981) 73 Criminal Appeal Reports 31 (Court of Appeal).
This is an old and rather archaic common-law matter. It is poorly defined, but police have the power to arrest for it. They therefore very often arrest people for "breach of the peace" if they think that someone ought to be arrested, but can't think exactly what else to arrest them for. They can then be brought before a magistrates' court. The purpose of arrest and binding over for breach of the peace is in theory to prevent crime, rather than to punish a crime which has been committed.
There is no penalty specified for breach of the peace, but a person may be bound over to keep the peace in a certain sum of money for a certain period of time. The person concerned must agree to the binding-over. The effect of it is that if he comes before the court again, that sum of money may be forfeited, but no additional penalty may be imposed. If the person does not agree to be bound over, or does not pay the money, he can be imprisoned: section 1 Justices of the Peace Act 1968.
A binding-over is not a conviction, and a person agreeing to be bound over does not get a criminal record. He can be bound over even if he has been acquitted of other offences at the same hearing. The sum in which a person is bound over must be proportionate to his financial means.
An arrest occurs when a police officer states that a person is arrested, when he uses force to restrain the person, or when he makes it clear that he will if necessary use force to restrain the person.
However, for an arrest to be lawful, it is essential that it be made clear to the person the fact of and reason for the arrest, even if it is obvious from the circumstances: section 28 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). Facts and reasons must be given at the time of arrest or as soon as practicable thereafter.
The arresting officer should normally have a reasonable suspicion that an offence has been, is being or is about to be committed. This is not as high a standard as proving it in court, so it is quite reasonable and lawful for an arrest to be made on suspicion, and for there then to be insufficient evidence to proceed further, and the person is then released. That in itself would not constitute an unlawful arrest.
The fact of and grounds for the arrest may be given in colloquial language, for example "You're nicked for obstruction", provided the arrested person understands the fact of and reason for the arrest. It is not necessary to quote the exact wording and section number of the relevant Act of Parliament.
A person is entitled to resist an unlawful arrest by using reasonable force, but I would not advise anyone to try this. In the heat of the moment, you may think an arrest is unlawful when in fact it is lawful, or you may use more than reasonable force, and in either case you are likely to get into a whole heap of trouble. It's better to submit to the arrest at the time, and sue afterwards if the circumstances warrant it. Similarly, do not try to prevent anyone else being arrested.
You can be arrested:
if the police officer has a warrant
if the offence is specified as an "arrestable offence". This is true for many of the offences created by the Criminal Justice Act 1994 (CJA).
if a police officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been or is being committed and he does not know and cannot readily ascertain your name and address.
You should be taken to a police station as soon as is practicable after the arrest (section 30 PACE). You should not normally be questioned until arrival at the police station, and before questioning the new caution should be read to you (see below).
An unlawful arrest constitutes false imprisonment for which you can sue for damages. It will probably also be a technical assault. Normally, if you have a good case for an unlawful arrest, the police will settle out of court.
Security guards can perform citizens' arrests on basically the same principles as for police officers. There is a suggestion that they don't have to state the fact of or reason for the arrest if those facts are obvious, but this point is not entirely clear from section 28 PACE. A security guard or other private citizen performing a citizen's arrest must hand the arrested person over to the police as soon as practicable: anything else would be kidnapping.
Co-operate or Not?
This is nothing to do with law, but is a matter of personal decision and judgement. What I am about to say now may be contrary to the view taken by other road protestors, lawyers or environmental or civil rights organisations, but I think it is important that people should make an informed choice about what they want to do.
After you have been arrested by the police and removed from the site of a protest, you may feel that most of what you want to achieve has been achieved. Work has been temporarily stopped on site. You have made your point and drawn attention to the environmental problem. The media (if present) have got their story, their photographs and a figure for the number of arrests. Your dispute is with the Department of Transport and their contractors, not with the police, who are (in theory) neutral.
Therefore, is there any point in continuing to protest, or should you co-operate with the police? Many environmental and civil rights organisations advocate protesting until the bitter end, giving only the bare minimum of cooperation, saying nothing apart from giving your name and address, and pleading not guilty.
However, there is a lot to be said for giving in gracefully at this point. Some of the police may sympathise with what you are trying to do, and in arresting you they are only doing their job. If you confess and are pleasant and cooperative, you are more likely to be offered a caution or released without charge. Even if you are taken to court, a guilty plea will mean a lighter sentence, less prolonged proceedings and no bail conditions. You may prefer to do more useful things with your money than pay a court fine.
After weighing up the alternatives, the choice is up to you.
Procedure at the Police Station
After arrest, the arresting police officer is obliged to take the arrested person to a designated police station as soon as practicable. There, he may be detained for questioning. The supervision of the detention and its conditions are the responsibility of the custody sergeant, who must maintain a custody record. The arrested person has the right to inspect the custody record. The custody sergeant must also inform the arrested person that he has the right to have someone informed of his arrest, to consult privately with a solicitor free of charge, and to consult the appropriate codes of practice. He must give the arrested person a written notice of his rights, and administer the new caution, which came into use early in 1995 and which now states:
"You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence".
This partially takes away the old "right to silence." If you have a valid defence to whatever you have been arrested for, you should say what your defence is and make sure that the police officer writes it down, or write a statement yourself. Alternatively, you can still say nothing, in which case if the case comes to court the prosecution are obliged to prove the case against you "beyond reasonable doubt" by presenting evidence: see below.
The law relating to detention in custody and questioning is complicated and I can do no more than outline it here. Most of the details are contained in PACE. You may be held without charge, for questioning if necessary, for up to 24 hours for minor offences, although usually the time period is much shorter. After that time you should be charged or released. If you are charged, you will probably be granted police bail. However, if you have offended before, or the police think you may offend again if released, you may be remanded in custody. If you are remanded in custody, you must be brought before a magistrates' court as soon as practicable, where the question of bail will again arise (see below).
This should not be confused with the "caution" given before questioning. It is a way in which the police, at their discretion, can dispose of offences without bringing the defendant before the court.
Preconditions for a caution are that the evidence must be sufficient for a prosecution, and the offender must admit guilt and agree to be cautioned. Upon being cautioned, the offender must sign a form admitting the offence and agreeing to the caution. Cautions are often used for juveniles, and adults who would probably receive a light sentence (conditional or absolute discharge) on conviction.
Records of cautions are kept for three years. A caution is not a conviction. If a cautioned person is subsequently convicted of an offence, the caution may be cited at the sentencing stage, and may influence the magistrates to impose a slightly heavier sentence than they might otherwise have done.
Naturally I shall bow to superior legal advice if it differs significantly from what I have said here.
Hope it helps.
01435 864937 (till 01.00 hrs every day till the war is won)