Powlesland v Director of Public Prosecutions: Admn 9 Dec 2013

The defendant apealed against his conviction for having taken part in a public procession, a a Critical Mass Cycle Ride, knowingly in breach of conditions attached to it by the Police. The defendant had argued that the ride was not a procession.
Held: The appeal failed. ‘The power to give directions is to be used, not just when the organisers of a procession have been co-operative enough to tell the police in advance of their intentions as to a specific route, but and perhaps more importantly when they have not done so. It would be an absurd interpretation if a direction, aimed at preventing serious disruption, could not be given unless the police knew as a matter of objectively provable fact that the procession would follow a specific route from A to B via particular roads, despite disruptive organisers masking their intentions. It cannot be that, until the police know the specific route, they cannot use s12 to prevent the use of a reasonably possible but seriously disruptive route. The power to give directions would not be useable when most needed; and it could always be objected that the police did not know what the route was to be, but had merely believed, however reasonably, that it could take a disruptive route.’

Goldring LJ, Ouseley J
[2013] EWHC 3846 (Admin), (2014) 178 JP 67, [2014] 1 WLR 2984, [2014] WLR(D) 139
Bailii, WLRD
Public Order Act 1986 12(5)
CitedKay v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis HL 26-Nov-2008
The claimant had been involved in a monthly cycle ride through central London which had continued for many years. The ride took place without any central organisation and without any route being pre-planned. They objected to being required to apply . .
CitedKay v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Admn 27-Jun-2006
For many years and in many large cities, once a month, cyclists had gathered en masse to cycle through the city in a ‘Critical Mass’ demonstration. There was no central organisation. Clarification was sought as to whether the consent of the police . .
CitedFlockhart v Robinson 1950
A challenge was made to the organising of a procession. Its route was determined by Mr Flockhart as he went along.
Held: For the purposes of section 3(4) of the 1936 Act, a procession ‘is a body of persons moving along a route’ and that, by . .
CitedJukes and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 16-Jan-2013
Two of those participating in a march demonstrating against cuts in the education budget, left that march to join the Occupy Movement’s demonstration in Trafalgar Square against the excesses of capitalism. They were, convicted at Westminster . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Road Traffic, Police

Updated: 28 November 2021; Ref: scu.519993