Wednesday 31 March 2021

Clapham Common 13 March 2021 ~ Report on policing

On 14 and 15 March 2021 respectively, the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London separately commissioned HMICFRS to inspect how the Metropolitan Police Service handled the policing of the vigil in memory of Sarah Everard. The vigil was held at Clapham Common on Saturday 13 March 2021.

A report has been published in response to both commissions. The report is published online - HERE

There is also a Press Release - Metropolitan Police acted appropriately at the Sarah Everard vigil


1) At the time of this event

(13 March 2021) the applicable Regulations were The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 - (SI: 2020/1374).  Previous post 6 January 2021.

On 13 March, the whole of England was in Tier 4.

The All Tiers Regulations required individuals to have a reasonable excuse for leaving home and they also imposed restrictions on gatherings. Offences under the Regulations included the words "without a reasonable excuse."

Protests in Tier 4 could be lawful. Whilst the Regulations did not specify that protests were an exception to the Rule about gatherings, the Regulations were subject to European Convention on Human Rights considerations and the offences, as defined in the Regulations, contained the "without reasonable excuse" provision.

2) Judgment of Holgate J - [2021] EWHC 661 (Admin).

3) The All Tiers Regulations are replaced from 29 March 2021 by The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 - SI 2021/364.  Previous post 22 March 2021.

4) The vigil took place 2 days after the publication of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - previous post - which will add to Police powers in relation to protests.


The Guardian 30 March - Ever-changing Covid rules on protest set up conflict with Police

Joint Committee on Human Rights 13th Report - The government response to Covid-19: freedom of assembly and the right to protest 

August 2022 - Sarah Everard: Met forced to halt ‘absurd’ convictions over vigil | Sarah Everard | The Guardian

31 March 2021.

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