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POLITICAL ROW: Resident blasts Northwood MP over Policing Bill comments

 Published on: 14th June 2022   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Northwood Hills resident has criticised MP for Northwood Pinner and Ruislip, David Simmonds CBE, over comments he made in last month’s NORTHWOOD&RUISLIPnews concerning a new policing bill.

In the May edition, Mr Simmonds stated that: “I was glad to see the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act become law. Having contributed numerous times during the Bill’s passage in Parliament, I know how important it is that steps were taken to strengthen police powers to avoid disruption to the lives of many of my constituents.”

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 has been a very controversial issue, put into law in the wake of Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain protests last year. Some say it is necessary to prevent disruption, while others argue it is far too draconian and infringes on human rights.

In a letter sent to NORTHWOOD&RUISLIPnews, Rachie Ross, a trustee for Christian climate change charity and Northwood Hills resident, had this to say:

“I was sadly not surprised to read David Simmons crassly misunderstand the seriousness of the Policing Bill his government has pushed through underhandedly; a draconian, backward and undemocratic bill that will tie the hands of anyone protesting the very serious issues facing us.

“We, the people they’re elected to serve, have been silenced by a Bill which makes it illegal to show up, stand up and speak up. Too much noise or standing on the wrong kerb can lead to spiralling fines, with a public nuisance offense potentially landing 10 years in jail.

“And please don’t say the Bill is to protect us from disruptive protests when protest is the cornerstone of democracy.

“How outrageous that this government is banning the general public the same noisy disruptive process! Protests are necessary and good and allow issues to be aired.

“This Bill is a major backwards step because it stops the police being facilitators of dissent. ‘Who do you serve and who do you protect?’ is the question we are all asking.”

When contacted for comment, Mr Simmonds MP said: “I am always prepared to have these important conversations with constituents, and I would encourage Rachie to reach out to my office so that I can discuss this important issue with her.”

Photo Credit: Socialist Appeal

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