Police win power to ban bike ride

rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
edited May 2007 in Campaign
The Metropolitan Police have won a court battle to allow them to ban London's Critical Mass cycle ride.
Two out of three Appeal Court judges overturned a High Court ruling that the rides do not need to have prior permission from the police.

Every month cyclists gather on the South Bank and ride through the city in the evening to celebrate safe cycling.

Now police will have the power to make arrests under the Public Order Act 1985 if they are not warned about the route.

'Potentially oppressive'

The legal battle began last September when, before the start of that month's ride, police handed out a letter to participants stating the Critical Mass rides were not lawful.

Police said "organisers of public processions" were required by law to give at least six days' notice of the date, time and proposed route, as well as their names and addresses.

This resulted in one of the regular Critical Mass riders asking Lord Justice Sedley and Mr Justice Gray to rule in the High Court that the police were misinterpreting the law.

The court heard the rides had no organiser and no fixed route and ruled that, as "customarily" held events, prior notice was not required under the Act.

At Monday's appeal hearing, Lord Justice Wall, the judge who found in favour of the cyclists, said to rule that Critical Mass fell under the auspices of the Public Order Act was "potentially oppressive".

A procession cannot, in my judgement, become common or customary if no route or end point is ever the same

Lord Justice Leveson

"The police, in my judgment, know what the cyclists are going to do. They are going to ride around the Greater London area," he said.

"That is a perfectly lawful activity, and if, for any reason, it ceases to be so, the police have ample powers to intervene."

London mayor Ken Livingstone's road safety ambassador Jenny Jones had earlier urged the police to allow the rallies to go ahead as planned, the judge said.

However, Lord Justice Leveson said cyclists came together at a fixed point, but the lead riders chose the course and where the rally finished.

"A procession cannot, in my judgment, become common or customary if no route or end point is ever the same," he said.

Sir Mark Potter, the President of the High Court Family Division, also found for the police.

Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said in a statement: "This decision is bad news for everyone, as it will end up with the police wasting time arresting innocent cyclists like me, rather than arresting real criminals.

"Critical Mass is a lively, but peaceful get-together of cyclists which has been going on for over a decade without any major incidents.

"Arresting cyclists at Critical Mass will be like arresting a group of passengers for gathering at Westminster tube station during the rush hour."

The London ride is part of a worldwide phenomenon and has taken place on the last Friday of the month, every month, for the past 13 years.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6677589.stm

See you on Friday guys and gals!
«134

Posts

  • rgismergisme Posts: 1,598
    Oh, well that's an incitement to attend if ever there was one. Might have been my first ever CM! Unfortunately I'll be in the Highlands though...

    Here's to a bigger than ever CM this Friday!
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    I was debating missing this one as I go away the next morning. I'm definitely going now.

    22nd March can't come soon enough, neither can 26th May 2007

    Carbon Footprint what Carbon Footprint?
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Having studied the judgement of the court and their reasons, I think the CA have actually made it impossible to convict anyone under the Public Order Act for organising CM.

    There reasoning as to why it is not a common or customary event means that it is never practicable to give notice as until the ride starts off there is no procession to give notice of

    22nd March can't come soon enough, neither can 26th May 2007

    Carbon Footprint what Carbon Footprint?
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

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  • Simon L2Simon L2 Posts: 2,908
    And I'm going, and I'm riding between Comet and Spen, thus ensuring instant legal representation. Hopefully Jenny Jones and Roger Geffen will be there. It will be interesting to see who the police nick first.

    it's your CTC - YOU DID turn up to vote on 28th April to keep it that way
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    quote:Originally posted by Simon L2

    And I'm going, and I'm riding between Comet and Spen, thus ensuring instant legal representation. Hopefully Jenny Jones and Roger Geffen will be there. It will be interesting to see who the police nick first.

    it's your CTC - YOU DID turn up to vote on 28th April to keep it that way


    You will be nicked Simon as you are clearly one of the ring leaders of the unlawful rabble who style themselves as Al-quaedaCTC

    22nd March can't come soon enough, neither can 26th May 2007

    Carbon Footprint what Carbon Footprint?
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • wafflycatwafflycat Posts: 359
    Interesting article here

    http://www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk/news/topstories/display.var.1414913.0.cyclist_to_apply_to_house_of_lords_over_ride_wrangle.php





    ~~~~~
    Any problem can be solved by the application of duck tape,
    copious use of cable ties
    and the wearing of fluorescent yellow Lycra
    ~~~~~
    ~~~~~
    Any problem can be solved by the application of duck tape,
    copious use of cable ties
    and the wearing of fluorescent yellow Lycra
    ~~~~~
  • Simon L2Simon L2 Posts: 2,908
    In all seriousness I might bring a cheapy bike. I'd hate to have to leave the Lovely Lucia beside the road. Am I correct, Spen, in thinking that this 'ban' only affects a designated area around Westminster? And does this mean that we'll have a sort of 'County Line' condition, where cyclists make haste out of the exclusion zone, pursued by the police?

    it's your CTC - YOU DID turn up to vote on 28th April to keep it that way
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    quote:Originally posted by Simon L2

    In all seriousness I might bring a cheapy bike. I'd hate to have to leave the Lovely Lucia beside the road. Am I correct, Spen, in thinking that this 'ban' only affects a designated area around Westminster? And does this mean that we'll have a sort of 'County Line' condition, where cyclists make haste out of the exclusion zone, pursued by the police?

    it's your CTC - YOU DID turn up to vote on 28th April to keep it that way


    I think you may be mistaken re location as it is talking re S11 POA 1986, and reference in judgement is to it being illegal when it started- the legislation you refer to is not retrospective- ie think Brian Haw

    22nd March can't come soon enough, neither can 26th May 2007

    Carbon Footprint what Carbon Footprint?
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • Simon L2Simon L2 Posts: 2,908
    so, forgive me for pursuing this, the police might make their arrests at the NFT theatre?

    One further question. Would the ban apply to an MP on a bike?

    it's your CTC - YOU DID turn up to vote on 28th April to keep it that way
  • Can make CM this week but here is my instant rant to my MP:

    Dear MP,

    I am appalled that the Court of Appeal has ruled that the monthly Critical Mass bike ride is illegal. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6677589.stm I am especially concerned that the police have used their limited resources to bring this case and will no doubt attempt to enforce the ban.

    They will do this despite the fact that they appear to be able to take no action against cycle thieves or dangerous drivers.

    The Critical Mass is a once monthly event soon over and of limited inconvenience to Londoners. Bike theft and driving that endangers cyclists, on the other hand, go on every day. Cyclists across London lose their property daily because of the Metropolitan Police's lack of action. Some of them are injured and even lose their lives because of the limited action that is taken against dangerous driving in London.

    I would be grateful if you could take this issue up with the Metropolitan Police, expressing my concern about their bizarre set of priorities.

    Stephen
  • The BosscpThe Bosscp Posts: 647
    This is militant officious little hitlers saying "why won't these cyclists know their place -the roads are for cars!" and it's just not acceptable.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    quote:Originally posted by The Boss

    This is militant officious little hitlers saying "why won't these cyclists know their place -the roads are for cars!" and it's just not acceptable.


    no, its a determination of a technical point of law. I do not agree with the CA, but I can see their reasoning

    22nd March can't come soon enough, neither can 26th May 2007

    Carbon Footprint what Carbon Footprint?
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • jamesACjamesAC Posts: 117
    (Serious questions)
    So what happens if a group of us (maybe 20 or so) want to go off on a cycle ride round London on, say, Sunday afternoon .. do we have to notify the police?

    Is there technically the potential for our being nicked if we don't?


    (Silly questions)
    What would happen if everyone who organised a bit of a bike ride contacted the police to notify them of the event?

    What would happen if CM didn't actually start at NFT, but just became a critical mass because loads of cyclists happened to be cycling round London on a Friday evening?

    Would it become an offence to cycle round London on a Friday evening without notifying the police first?

    Suppose an ill-defined bunch of motorists drove round London on a Friday evening - would they be liable for prosecution, too?

    jamesAC
    Why did Noddy pay the ransom? - Because the elephants have got big ears!

    jamesAC
  • redshiftredshift Posts: 1,861
    Perhaps if everyone who were to ride in/through London were to notify the Met of their itinerary, along the lines of:
    quote:Dear Mr Plod,
    I'm thinking of pootling through London on Friday evening, and I couldn't help but notice there's now a ruling that states I need to inform you. I may be with some friends, and I'm not sure whether that means I am a 'procession' or not. We'll probably meet up around 6-ish, or maybe 7, but we haven't yet decided where, and we may stop off for pancakes or a curry at some point. Anyway, Just thought I'd let you know...


    Send them care of the Met's Press and Publicity Office, perhaps? [}:)]

    L
    [:)]

    Windcheetah 176
    http://www.redshift.uklinux.net/
    ...handbuilt by daleks...
    L
    :)

    Windcheetah 176
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    Snarking, fester-twister. Speetling along like a trolley with scorches
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    Are CMs actually organized? I thought that they just happened.


    What's worse than raining cats and dogs?
    Idiots who leap out into the road oblivious of their own safety and mine, flailing about with bags and umbrellas in the belief that buses won't stop at bus stops if there are people just waiting there.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • jamesACjamesAC Posts: 117
    quote:Originally posted by redshift

    Perhaps if everyone who were to ride in/through London were to notify the Met of their itinerary, along the lines of:
    quote:Dear Mr Plod,
    I'm thinking of pootling through London on Friday evening, and I couldn't help but notice there's now a ruling that states I need to inform you. I may be with some friends, and I'm not sure whether that means I am a 'procession' or not. We'll probably meet up around 6-ish, or maybe 7, but we haven't yet decided where, and we may stop off for pancakes or a curry at some point. Anyway, Just thought I'd let you know...


    Send them care of the Met's Press and Publicity Office, perhaps? [}:)]

    L
    [:)]

    Windcheetah 176
    http://www.redshift.uklinux.net/
    ...handbuilt by daleks...



    Perhaps, in the interests of Law'n'Order, of course, someone would care to contribute a pro-forma form that cyclists, who intend, or might intend, or, having made a wrong turn, end up cycling round London on a Friday evening might use to notify the Constabulary of their intentions?

    Would one need a different form for, say, Tuesday?

    Suppose you notified the C's of your intention, then got a puncture 100 yards from home, and it started to p*ss down with rain, so you changed your mind and went home to watch you new "Clangers" dvd .. would you then need to notify the C's that you no longer intended to ride?




    jamesAC
    Why did Noddy pay the ransom? - Because the elephants have got big ears!

    jamesAC
  • will this ruling have potential consequences for club rides etc? Is a club ride an organised procession?

    On the 8th day God made a bicycle, and he saw that it was good. (actually personally he thought it was his best invention yet)
  • tiny_penstiny_pens Posts: 293
    Does this mean that people in cars have to register 6 days in advance before they go to work in case they end up in a traffic jam on the way?
  • Tourist TonyTourist Tony Posts: 8,628
    As predictable as ever.
    http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewt ... 44427d8d2d

    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... =3244&v=5K
  • OldkneesOldknees Posts: 214
    A customery route could be 10 metres and the rest can just be folk going to and coming from the customery route. And it need not be the same people either or the same route. Job done.

    slow is good too
    slow is good too
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    quote:Originally posted by tiny_pens

    Does this mean that people in cars have to register 6 days in advance before they go to work in case they end up in a traffic jam on the way?


    Now there's an idea. I've often thought drivers should have to file a "flight plan", detailing their proposed route and where they're going to park when they get there, before they're allowed to set out. They could be forewarned of congestion and advised on the best route .. or told "Sorry, mate, there's no room for you in Croydon today".

    Works for aircraft, dunnit?


    *** Have you got rock salmon?
    No, but we've got soul ***
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • Tourist TonyTourist Tony Posts: 8,628
    Yes, but aircraft pay road tax an' they don't have beards an'.....

    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... =3244&v=5K
  • Luis TrampeLuis Trampe Posts: 14
    quote:Originally posted by Tourist Tony

    As predictable as ever.
    http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewt ... 44427d8d2d

    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...


    Indeed, you most certainly are[:D]
  • Tourist TonyTourist Tony Posts: 8,628
    I've already called one stalker George. How about I call you censored ?

    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... =3244&v=5K
  • The public order act 1986 states that riot is an offence committed by 12 or more persons gathered together for a common purpose and behaving in such a manner as to cause a person of reasonable firmness to fear for their safety.

    Why not abandong the CM and have 100 or so smaller simultaneous events restricted to 11 people.

    you see where this is going
    1. You are no longer breaking the ludicrous use of the act. Let's face it the police were stretching it to the limit anyway
    2. You cannot be tried together.

    If the police want to play silly games then let's ensure we are so hard to process that they won't have nearly enough resources

    Sorry to any lawyers out there but my legal knowledge comes from a temp job whilst I was a student years ago. Best get a real professional to check it out before proceeding with such an idea
  • Luis TrampeLuis Trampe Posts: 14
    quote:Originally posted by Tourist Tony

    I've already called one stalker George. How about I call you censored ?

    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...


    My ,what a popular little chappy you are.
    Don't call me censored ,I don't like it.
  • I am feeling inspired.
    I am not a Londoner
    We need something like this CM malarky in my home City. We need it badly.
    Everyone give a big thank you to the Met for spreading the word so effectively that every city needs a critical mass
  • RegulatorRegulator Posts: 417
    I sahll be there on Friday, with video camera and a copy of PACE and the Human Rights Act... [:D]

    ___________________________
    censored elephants - capabari are cuter!
    ___________________________
    censored elephants - capabari are cuter!
  • Luis TrampeLuis Trampe Posts: 14
    Yea that's right .Wind up the people who already hate you.
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