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Protestors face criminal charges if they block construction sites

A protester at the Kill the Bill rally in London in July 2021 holds a ‘Stop HS2’ banner (Image: Dreamstime)

Protesters who block construction sites could face an unlimited fine or six months’ in prison under new proposals announced by home secretary Priti Patel yesterday (5 October).

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, Patel said police could be given new powers to tackle protesters who attempt to disrupt national infrastructure.

The move comes after repeated attempts to block roads and motorways, including the M25, by Insulate Britain protestors.

Currently, those guilty of obstructing a highway face a fine of £1,000, but Patel has proposed stiffer punishments to deter protestors. Construction sites, printing presses and railways would also fall under the new powers, which would be given to police via amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill, currently going through Parliament.

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