That was the view of a FIT co-ordinator of the operation at Kingsnorth Climate Camp last year.
A FIT Silver commander also commended the way that Kent police had used their ANPR (automatic number plate reader) to pick up protesters vehicles so that they could be stopped, questioned and searched. “an innovative use of legislation for disruption”, he applauded.
These are the remarkably frank comments contained in the Structured Debrief of Climate Camp policing. This was produced by the NPIA, the National Policing Improvement Agency, the structure which is supposed to spread best practice across police forces.
In this case the best practice appears to be using legislation other than for the purposes it was intended, and doing their best to ‘disrupt’ protest.
The accompanying report from South Yorkshire police confirms the involvement of FIT in directing stop and search, and reveals that the massive collection of personal details through stop and search forms almost proved too much for police resources. “The capacity of the intelligence cell was clearly challenged when the scale of PACE/1 form submission became a reality.”
Stop and search legislation was written with the express intention of NOT allowing police to collect personal details in this way. So this must be yet another example of police interpreting legislation in an ‘innovative’ way.
Not only do the police feel confident in being able to bend the law as they see fit, they are arrogant enough to brag about it in a public document. Astounding.