Tuesday, 16 December 2008

POLICING AT KINGSNORTH: STATEMENT BY MINISTER

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KENT GREEN PARTY

From: Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair, Kent Green Party, 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF



For further information if required: 01732 355185 or mobile 07944 41083 or email hazeldawe@bulldoghome.com web site: www.kentgreenparty.org


POLICING AT KINGSNORTH – STATEMENT BY HOME OFFICE MINISTER

Vernon Coaker, minister at the Home Office, has been forced to apologise publicly for misleading statements about policing at Kingsnorth. He has had to retract his claim that seventy police officers were injured by protestors. Only twelve police officers had ‘reportable injuries,’ and those were mainly insect bites and cut fingers. This does not provide evidence of violence by the protestors, and does not justify the excessive policing at the Climate Camp.

Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair of Kent Green Party says:
“I was one of many who complained about the overzealous policing at Kingsnorth. My main worry is that Kent residents who were horrified at the excessive policing they witnessed will have lost faith in the police. Policing in a democracy relies on the cooperation and support of the population. Once trust is lost it is extremely difficult to regain it. The behaviour of the police contributed to a loss of trust in them by ordinary people. The misleading statement by the Minister will exacerbate that loss of trust.

The minister will be meeting with the Association of Chief Police Officers to discuss “the lessons to be learned” from Kingsnorth. I hope that he will take into account the long term relationship of the Police with those whose cooperation they so badly need and will conclude that future peaceful demonstrations should be policed more sensitively than was the case at Kingsnorth.”

Ends
approx 230 words

Dr Hazel Dawe, 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF
For further information if required: 01732 355185 or mobile 07944 41083 or email hazeldawe@bulldoghome.com
www.kentgreenparty.org

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