One rule to bind them

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 6, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, March 6th, 2007
9:34 am and is filed
under The War on Stupid.

Morning, all.

I wasted most of my day yesterday trying to reach the relevant department down at Vauxhall about this, but they seem to be incapable of answering their phone.

So, email it is then…

From: Tim Ireland
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 9:32 AM
Subject: Possible SOCPA violation

Dear Sirs,

It has come to my attention that an ongoing demonstration is taking place within a designated area, and I suspect that:

1) it may be unauthorised
2) it may have escaped your attention

As you are no doubt aware, it is an offence under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 to organise a demonstration within the designated area if, when the demonstration starts, authorisation for the demonstration has not been given.

I suspect authorisation has not been given in this case, as there is no indication of the usual restrictions.

For instance, you often stipulate a tight timeframe and you have recently restricted long-time protestor Brian Haw to a 3m x 1m area.

The demonstration I speak of has run all day for many days and is even illuminated at night. Also, it is 135m high and 121m wide, which some might regard to be a bit excessive.

I have enclosed some picture links for your reference:

If permission has been sought and granted, please do let me know.

Also, if for some reason an exception has been made in this case, I would very much like to hear the reason(s) why.


Tim Ireland

[For those who came in late: Red Nose Day 2007: Some Legal Advice]

UPDATE (10:00AM) – Email received and forwarded to the Public Order Branch.



  1. Lobster Blogster says

    My tip here is to start at the top. I use:commissioner@met.police.ukthen work your way down to the workhorse ie:Helen PreeceInspector EventsCharing Cross Police Station( Phone: 020 7321 7524( Metphone: 475242 Fax: 020 7321 7527 (47527): E-mail: helen.preece@met.police.ukDoesn't necessarily work, but it must be good for a wind-up :0)ie:Dear Ms PreeceOn 25th August 2006 I sent Application for Demonstration Form 3175A to DCC10 Mailbox – Commissioner's emailThank you for confirming in writing that I have complied with s133 5) a) delivering it to a police station in the metropolitan police district.Can you please advise how or when you will supply my authority to demonstrate?Yours sincerelyXxxxxx Xxxxxxx [not kisses, I just prefer not to give my name here in your blog]PS You will note that I have disregarded your statement "An email or Fax is not considered by law to be delivered under the act." because this has no basis in law. I felt that someone of the rank of an Inspector would be familiar with this, and I am surprised you are not. For your information the only specific reference to emails within the Act is found in s134 10) which makes it permissible for a Commissioner to give his reply by email, under certain circumstances.

  2. scotch says

    Well the very nice Inspector Cornish has just assured me that "Red Nose Day is not a demonstration" and so is not covered by the act.(He also sounded a bit harrassed and I didn't want to bug him too much).

  3. Manic says

    Tut. They don't answer the phone when I call.

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