Protests near Parliament - what exactly are the new rules ?


With talk of postal vote fraud, of fuel protests and of "peace" demonstrations etc. it seems likely that there going to be some kinds of protest in Parliament Square during and after the General Election.

However, the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 changes all the rules, and now applies to protests or demonstrations, even by a single individual.

So far, the Metropolitan Police do not seem to have published any new rules or guidance regarding the procedures that are needed to be complied with to mount a legal protest, within 1 kilometre of Parliament Square.

Some questions we sent off by email, which we are still awaiting a reply to:

"Enquiry about the procedures and regulations covering protests or demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament Square, in light of the new

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005:

Demonstrations in vicinity of Parliament

A few(!) questions:

1) When will the Metropolitan Police Service publish guidelines on
the website regarding the rules, regulatons and
procedures concerning Demonstrations or Protests in the vicinity of
Parliament ?

2) Where is there a map available, or a detailed description of the extent of the "Designated Area" which extends no more than "one kilometre in a straight line from the point nearest to it in Parliament Square" ? Where does Parliament Square extend to ? Just the area enclosed by the pavements and roads, or the furthest extent of the property lines of each of the buildings which has an address in Parliament Square ?

3) Does this "Designated Area" currently extend up Whitehall and to Trafalgar Square ?

4) What is the exact procedure for writing to the "Commissioner of
Police of the Metropolis" ?

5) Does "writing" include email and/or fax communications ?

6) Will the "Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis" accept
digital electronic signatures to authenticate of such email, as
permitted under the Electronic Communications Act 2000 section 7 Electronic signatures and related certificates ?

7) To whom should any such communications be addressed ?

8) To the Met Police general enquiries contacts ?

9) To the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Ian Blair ?

10) Should a copy also be sent to the Palace of Westminster
Division (SO17)
. If so, what are their contact details ?

11) Should a copy be sent to the Public Order OCU ? If so, what are their contact details ?

12) What is the position regarding a "fuel protest" type convoy of
vehicles beeping their horns, rather than using loudspeakers ?

13) Does a separate notification of a demonstration or protest have to be submitted for each and every day that it lasts ?

14) What is the difference between the "at least 6 days" and the "at least 24 hours" notification periods ?

15) What are the procedures for notification of the amendment or cancellation of a protest or demonstration ?"

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