‘In principle, I support the aims of the bill’: Eastbourne MP gathers comments on Police and Crime Bill

The MP for Eastbourne has been speaking to residents about their views on the government’s new Police and Crime Bill.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 9:57 am

The bill has been in the news due to ‘Kill the Bill’ protests in Bristol at the weekend which turned violent and lead to 21 police officers being injured.

The protests were all around the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will hand police and the home secretary greater powers to crack down on protests.

Caroline Ansell has been speaking to residents on social media about their views on the bill, something she says she can report back to Parliament.

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She said, “A big thank you to everyone who contributed so politely to posts this week, I’ve received over 200 comments which I have read with interest.

“This is a big bill covering a great deal of new laws - many of them very popular with the public - including increased jail terms for those who attack emergency workers, tougher sentences, including Whole Life Orders, for premeditated murder of a child and the end of automatic release halfway through sentence of serious violent and sexual offenders.”

The proposed legislation will also allow police too impose stricter conditions on bail in high harm cases, this is a result of Kay’s Law - in memory of Kay Richardson who tragically lost her life at her ex-partner’s hands.

Mrs Ansell said people who haven’t shown support to the bill are focusing on proposals to stop disruptive and noisy protests.

She said, “Protest is a fundamental right in this country and this bill will not stop it. I would certainly not vote for any legislation that did. However, the right to protest does not trump all other rights like going to work. People will remember the public upset at some protest groups’ disruptive tactics, used for days, that stopped people from getting to work or the emergency services from attending incidents.

“Despite quite a bit of misinformation, this bill does not stop the right to protest. Peaceful protesting will continue. So, in principle, I support the aims of the bill. However, I do have concerns around the practicalities and some definitions within the proposed bill around annoyance, disruption and noise.”

Mrs Ansell said the bill will now go through a committee stage in the Houses of Parliament to look closely at these definitions before it is approved and becomes law.

In reference to the comments from residents, she said, “There has been a great deal of constructive feedback and I would like to thank everyone for getting involved and politely exchanging their thoughts and views.”