Published On: Sun, Feb 4th, 2024
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Protesters who climb on war memorials to be jailed after outrage over Palestine marches | UK | News

Protestors who climb on monuments could face prison time and fines under new plans from the Home Secretary.

James Cleverly has said that climbing war memorials is an “insult” and “cannot continue” while announcing the new plans.

He vowed last year to give police new power to protect remembrance sites after protestors climbed the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London on November 15.

Downing Street called the behaviour an “affront” but Met Police Commissioner Mark Rowley said it would have been unlawful to arrest the activists.

But under new plans from the Home Office, climbing on war memorials will become a specific public order offence with jail time of up to three months and fines of £1,000.

The measure would “stop protesters disrespecting those who have given their lives for our country”.

This announcement comes the day after 10,000 Palestinian protestors marched on central London calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Mr Cleverly, who was a Territorial Army officer in the Royal Artillery, said: “Recent protests have seen a small minority dedicated to causing damage and insulting those who paid the ultimate price for their freedom to protest.

“Peaceful protest is fundamental in our county, but climbing on our war memorials is an insult to these monuments of remembrance and cannot continue.

“That is why I am giving police the powers they need to ensure they have the tools to keep order and peace on our streets.”

The new law for England and Wales will be introduced as an amendment at the report stage of the Criminal Justice Bill in the House of Commons.

The Home Office said it is part of a wider plan aiming to tackle disorder at protests, due to be unveiled this week.

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