London Indymedia

Post Climate Camp Legal Call Out

camper | 16.08.2008 10:44 | Climate Camp 2008 | Free Spaces | Repression | Social Struggles | London | South Coast

The climate camp was in many respects a remarkable watershed in the policing of mass public protest. Even under the spotlight of the mainstream media, police abuse of power was overt and unwavering. The unlawful indiscriminate searches along with seizure of personal property unrelated to any crime, actual or potential, should not go uncontested...

Legal Support Team post-camp briefing – no 1

Urgent call out

For legally aided people (low income – approx less than £14,000 with low savings) who might be willing to be parties to a judicial review case on the searches and who:

* suffered an excessive number of searches under section 1 and section 60


* suffered a detriment because of the searches (either deterring them so they did not even attend or visit again, or so that their limited time at the camp was reduced significantly by the search time – this might point to local people maybe or day visitors – maybe the Networking group can follow this up?).

For people threatened with section 50 (antisocial behaviour) to obtain their name and address.

For people threatened with arrest for suspected immigration offences to obtain their name and address.

For people threatened with arrest for having stolen a mobile phone or otherwise had their mobile phone tampered with in terms of scrolling through personal details or having their IME number checked.

For witnesses to an injury caused by a police truncheon to a women’s hand/wrist at K5 in the afternoon of Monday 4th August. One potential witness’ name is Laura. Also related images and film.

Please contact

There is likely to be more calls out for information and potential witnesses and litigants, so please look out for these (especially over the next few months or so as those arrested go to court).

Return of property seized from individual searches or on arrest

Some people have search forms or receipts detailing property taken, some have none. Some search forms or receipts have a name and address on them and some a description of the person, some have nothing.

In some instances, the Legal Support Team has somehow ended up with a search form with property items detailed on them. We will try to contact people to return them where we have contact details but please do not rely on this and contact us at

Write with a copy of any form you have to Legal Services Department (contact details below). If you have no written evidence of the items being taken, you will need to give as much detail as possible about when and where items were taken and by whom and a full description of the item.

It may be worth asking your property to be returned to you by post. Alternatively, there has been some indication that items may be sent through the internal police post to a local police station for collection.

In principle, if you do not wish to disclose your name and address that should be facilitated in some way. Using an email address to correspond may be the best way to proceed and personal collection or delivery to a non-home address for collection may be the most sensible approach.

We have received assurances that no items will be destroyed in the short term.

If you do not want to reclaim an item you could write to say that you wish it to be available to be claimed by the Climate Camp collectively and copy into the correspondence.

The Climate Camp legal team are considering whether there is any appropriate legal claim that could be made in relation to the seizure policy. Whether or not there is, you might as an individual make a specific complaint (see details below) about the seizure of your property separate to a request for its return.

Items seized under the warrant

From the list produced, we do not believe the items were taken in a form it will be easy for the police, or us, to link individuals to property. We are still working out how to proceed with this, probably will reclaim it and we will proceed from there. Contact us if you lost something that is important to you that you receive back on

Damaged or lost property - like bike locks etc

Write to make a claim to Legal Services Department. Contact details below.

In principle there is agreement to facilitate a process that does not involve the disclosure of your name and address if you do not wish to disclose them. Perhaps a bearer cheque to be collected from a local police station on production of an email from them, would work.

Beyond that you may need to pursue a county court claim – this is possible to do yourself but you do need try writing first. Details of how to do this are available on

You might as an individual make a specific complaint (see details below) about how your property was treated separate to a request for compensation.


Full details of how to make an individual complaint about police conduct to In general there is a distinction about complaining about the overall management and conduct of the policing, and about the behaviour of individual officers when it is essential to be specific about the officers involved if at all possible. If you need to refer back to details you have given in a short account form / witness statement completed at the Camp, please contact

Arrests and injuries

A key priority for the legal team is to support those facing charges by forwarding to them or their lawyers relevant short account forms / witness statements and putting calls out for additional witnesses and relevant pictures and films. Similarly, legal team will seek to the same for claims for wrongful arrest or personal injuries. (It may be worth considering Bhatt Murphy or Fisher Meredith for claims against the police.) It is helpful for us to hear the outcomes of these cases. Legal can be contacted at

Other news

Some members of the legal support team are working with Bindmans to pursue a judicial review claim regarding the use of section 1 and section 60 (see above call for witnesses).

Consideration is being given to challenging the treatment of the seizure policy and the treatment of legal observers but that may be more difficult using a legal route.

The legal support team will support political and media based lobbying regarding the policing of the Climate Camp and is working to produce a summary report on the policing with illustrative examples.

It will help to keep the legal support team up to date with successes or problems with retrieving your property, obtaining compensation or making a complaint so we can share with others what is working and what is not.

Contact details

Kent Police HQ - Legal Services: Head of Legal Services, Kent Police HQ, Sutton Road, Maidstone, ME15 9ZZ,, telephone 01622 680690 (main switchboard).

Climate Camp 2008 – Legal Support Team:



don't complain to IPCC if

16.08.2008 16:06

otherwise you'll prejudice your ability to sue them. You can make a complaint sometime after - check the deadline, but I remember it being some years - if you are thinking of sueing the police for wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment or malicious prosecution. You'd be surprised at what counts. Irwin Mitchell of Sheffield is a firm that has been good at sueing the police for protestors in the past.

you intend to sue the police

If you had a camera

16.08.2008 18:31

It you had a camera on site, either stills or video, please check to see if you have footage or photos that might help as evidence for those arrested or useful in any of the complaints which will be bought against the police. Specifically, look to see if you have anything relating to arrests or assaults. Also, footage of people being forced to queue for searches, any bullshit the police said to justify their actions, any example of police stealing items which clearly have no possible application as a weapon or for criminal damage.

If you have something, please contact legal at

at camp


Display the following 3 comments

  1. You're having a laugh! — John Smith
  2. Um, no it won't actually — Pinkolady
  3. Mr Smith has a fair point — Confussed


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