Is St. James's Park in the Designated Area for restricting protests around Parliament Square or not ?

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The Evening Standard and the BBC have published two different accounts of the alleged map which outlines the controversial Designated Area around Parliament Square

"No point in the area so specified may be more than one kilometre in a straight line from the point nearest to it in Parliament Square"

under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 section 138 The designated area

The Evening Standard's map implies that St. James's Park, which is only a few metres from the back of Downing Street is not in this alleged Designated Area, which makes a nonsense of any "security" reasons for the extention of the Designated Area so far from Parliament Square itself. However the BBC states that St. James Park is in the Designated Area.

As you can see from the Bloggerheads graphic, or from a more detailed online street map) a one kilometre zone could in theory extend to the gates of Buckingham Palace in th ewest and cover all of Waterloo station on the other side of the River Thames to the East.

The Evening Standard Map, and also the one published by the Daily Telegraph shows a zone which is no more than about 500 metres in a straight line from Parliament Square. It is unclear which side of these roads the Designated Area boundary lies on, but the boundary seems to be:

nban16.gif - Parliament Square Designated Area - source Daily Telegraph 16 June 2005

Starting in the south east corner, Lambeth Bridge on the east bank of the River Thames, westwards across Lambeth Bridge (the MI5 Security Service HQ building appears to be just outside the boundary), along Horseferry Road (thereby encompassing the new Home Office buildngs in Marsham Street), north along Strutton Street, across Victoria Street (thereby encompassing the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour Party headquarters and the New Scotland Yard Metropolitan Police HQ), skirting around St. James's Tube Station and down the side of the former Home Office buildings now sold off to property developers in Quen Anne's Gate, onto Birdcage Walk on the south side of St. James's Park, then eastwards to the corner with Horse Guards Road at the back of the Treasury, northwards past Downing Street and Horse Guards' Parade, onto The Mall, the eastwards again through Admiralty Arch, sneaking just south of Trafalgar Square to Northumberland Avenue, eastwards to the Embankment and the Hungerford foot (or railway ?) bridge, back across the River Thames, down Concert Hall Approach (excluding the South Bank Arts comples) to York Road (excluding Waterloo Station), then southwards down York Road to Lambeth Bridge again (encompassing the London Eye wheel).

Why doesn't the Home Office publish a map or a detailed description of the extent of the Designated Area and the proposed rules and regulations for public consultation ?

At the moment, it appears that wearing a T-shirt or rubber wristband or doing anything which might, in the opinion of a police constable, be considered to be a protest or demonstration, even by a single person, without prior permission from the Commisioner of the Metropolitan Police will be a criminal offence after 1st August, when, presumably, the secret Order setting up the Designated Area is meant to come into force.

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6 Comments

The detailed description is here (it took some searching).

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20051537.htm

Birdcage Walk and Horseguards Road are in the zone, as are their pavements, but my understanding of the legislation is that the rest of St James's Park isn't.

Thanks for that !

The description does tally with the Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph maps:

"Designated area
2. - (1) For the purposes of sections 132 to 137 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, the designated area is the area bounded by an imaginary line starting at the point where Hungerford Bridge crosses Victoria Embankment, continuing along Hungerford Bridge to the point where it crosses Belvedere Road, rightwards along Belvedere Road as far as Chicheley Street, leftwards along Chicheley Street as far as York Road, rightwards along York Road, crossing Westminster Bridge Road into Lambeth Palace Road, along Lambeth Palace Road as far as Lambeth Bridge, over Lambeth Bridge, leftwards along Millbank as far as Thorney Street, along Thorney Street as far as Horseferry Road, leftwards along Horseferry Road as far as Strutton Ground, along Strutton Ground crossing over Victoria Street into Broadway, along Broadway as far as Queen Anne's Gate, along Queen Anne's Gate as far as Birdcage Walk, rightwards along Birdcage Walk as far as Horse Guards Road, along Horse Guards Road as far as the Mall, rightwards along the Mall, across the north end of Whitehall as far as Northumberland Avenue, along Northumberland Avenue as far as Victoria Embankment, leftwards along Victoria Embankment returning to the starting point.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), references in paragraph (1) to a named street or other highway include the pavements adjoining that street or other highway on the extremity of the designated area.

(3) The pavements in Trafalgar Square are not included in the designated area."


Was the Home Office hoping that nobody would notice this ?

"Made 8th June 2005
Laid before Parliament 10th June 2005"

Why was there no press release a week ago ?

"Was the Home Office hoping that nobody would notice this?"

Of course they were. It's a regular trick of theirs - table contentious Statutory Instruments on Friday afternoon when most MPs have gone home.

Those specs seem to suggest that the section of the Thames immediately outside Parliament is *not* part of the exclusion zone... or am I wrong?

Revised map now included here:
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2005/06/the_terrorists.asp

PS - Perhaps the official map is on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard!"

"rightwards along York Road, crossing Westminster Bridge Road into Lambeth Palace Road, along Lambeth Palace Road as far as Lambeth Bridge, over Lambeth Bridge, "

covers the gap between Westmninster Bridge and Lambeth Bridge doesn't it ?

The cunning little detour of "leftwards along Millbank as far as Thorney Street, along Thorney Street as far as Horseferry Road" sneaks in the MI5 Secret Service and Northern Ireland Office buildings which the media maps did not show.

Oops. Crossing Westminster Bridge *Road*. My bad.

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