Priti Patel in a new attempt to pass strict anti-protest measures | Priti Patel

Priti Patel will tell MPs ‘we don’t do mob politics in this country’ as she urges them to back the new Public Order Bill.

It represents the Home Secretary’s latest attempt to introduce measures previously blocked by the House of Lords as part of the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

The measures include the introduction of a new offense of obstructing major transport networks, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

Interfering with key national infrastructure – such as railways, roads and printing presses – will also become a criminal offence, which will carry a penalty of up to 12 months imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both. .

Patel will deliver a speech on the proposed bill when it opens second reading debate in the House of Commons on Monday.

The Home Secretary is expected to tell MPs: ‘From day one this government has put the safety and interests of the law-abiding majority first… but recently we have seen an increase in criminal, disruptive tactics and self-destructive actions of a supremely selfish minority.

“Their actions are diverting police resources from communities where they are most needed…and we are seeing parts of the country shut down…this is reprehensible behavior and I will not tolerate it.”

Under the bill, police will also have the power to proactively stop and search people in order to seize items intended for ‘lockdown’ purposes, such as glue or bamboo structures intended to hinder the police.

“Lockdown” tactics, such as protesters sticking to roads, vehicles or buildings, have been used repeatedly by groups such as Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil.

Courts will also be given new powers to make serious disturbance prevention orders, which would require those who have repeatedly caused disturbances to wear an electronic tag, to ensure that they are not a particular place where they could commit a “related protest”. offense”.

Patel added: “I will not sit idly by and let anti-social individuals continue to cause misery and chaos for others. The Public Order Bill will empower the police to take more proactive measures to protect the rights of the public to lead their lives in peace.

“No matter how passionately one believes in a cause, we don’t make politics by mob rule in this country…I will not be deterred from supporting the police and standing up for the law-abiding majority, and that is what the public order bill does.

Norman Reimer, the chief executive of the Fair Trials group, said of the Home Secretary’s latest proposals: “By reintroducing plans which have already been rejected by UK parliamentarians, the UK government appears intent on destroying the right to demonstrate peacefully rather than to protect it.

Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion (XR) has already announced plans to “take millions to the streets” in response to the new bill after it was announced in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month.

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