Climate protestors this weekend won a major High Court victory against the unlawful police stop and search operation used against protesters at their camp in Kingsnorth, Kent in August 2008.
It had been the largest and most expensive such operation in UK history involving 26 police forces. Led by Kent police, these forces carried out a continuous, systematic and unlawful mass stop and search regime
In the High Court the police accepted an Order that the searches of the three claimants had been ‘unlawful’, and constituted a violation oftheir human rights to privacy (breach of Article 8 of the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights), to freedom of expression (breach ofArticle 10) and freedom of association (breach of Article 11).
Climate camp legal team have suggested that the 3,500 other searches carried under the same search laws (s1 PACE) would also have been unlawful.. All those searched under such laws can now sue the police and submit claims for damages. Those affected should log on to the climate camp website http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/ to see how to proceed with a claim.
The legal team claim that this case was won despite police efforts to deny there was any systematic stop and search policy. Their ludicrous position collapsed after a key ‘smoking gun’ document came to light revealing that the police ‘bronze commanders’ in charge of the operation atKingsnorth were systematically giving briefings for blanket stop and searches.
Three FITwatch defendants who were arrested and imprisoned for four days for photographing the stop and search operation at Kingsnorth are also persuing legal action.