Priti Patel in New Effort to Push Tough Anti-Protest Measures | Priti Patel

Priti Patel will tell MPs that “we don’t make policy in this country by ruling the mob” while urging them to show their support for the new law and order law.

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

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

Interfering with key national infrastructure – such as railways, roads and printing presses – also becomes a criminal offense, punishable by up to 12 months in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

Patel will give a speech on the bill as she opens the 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… extremely selfish minority.

“Their actions are distracting police from the communities where they are most needed… and we are seeing parts of the country come to a standstill… this is reprehensible behavior and I will not tolerate it.”

As part of the bill, the police will also be empowered to proactively stop and search people from confiscating items intended for “lock-on” purposes, such as glue or bamboo structures intended to hinder the police.

“Lock-on” tactics, such as protesters sticking themselves 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 prevent serious disturbances, requiring those who have repeatedly caused disturbances to wear an electronic tag, to ensure they are not in a certain place where they are committing a “protest-related violation”.

Patel added: “I will not stand by and let antisocial individuals create misery and chaos for others. The Public Order Act allows police to be more proactive in protecting the public’s rights to live in peace.

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

Norman Reimer, the chief executive of the Fair Trials group, said of the Home Secretary’s latest proposals: “By reintroducing plans that have already been rejected by UK parliamentarians, the UK government appears to be seeking the right to destroy peaceful protest rather than protect it.”

Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion (XR) has already announced plans to “get millions of people out on the streets” in response to the new bill after it was announced in the Queen’s speech earlier this month.

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