Open Letter regarding the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

To the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Justice.

We write to share our urgent concern over the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is soon to be debated in the House of Lords.

This Bill will have a profound impact on the right to protest, constitutes a direct threat to Gypsy and Traveller communities and includes a host of expansive policing and sentencing powers that will further entrench racial disparity in the criminal justice system.

During the second reading debate, parliamentarians from across the political spectrum raised concerns about parts 3 and 4 of the Bill. Many said that they expected the controversial aspects of it to be properly scrutinised and improved during Committee Stage. However, the sections of the Bill which restrict protest, criminalise trespass and expand policing powers have emerged from Committee entirely unamended.

At the same time, we have seen:

  • Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights state the Bill’s proposals are “oppressive and wrong” and the Equality and Human Rights Commission has stated the measures undermine human rights legislation
  • Former senior police officers describe the Bill as “harmful to democracy”.
  • Over 700 legal academics call for the Bill to be dropped.
  • Three UN Special Rapporteurs, and top human rights officials warn that the Bill threatens our rights.
  • Over 600,000 members of the public sign petition against the Bill
  • Polling showing that nearly two thirds of the public are concerned about a crackdown on their protest rights.

Government has so far failed to seriously engage with public concerns, criticism of the bill from a wide section of society and its claim to be committed to upholding freedom of speech and assembly has been contradicted by numerous experts.

Civil society groups previously highlighted the lack of time parliamentarians were given to read and understand the Bill, with less than a week between publication and second reading. It was disappointing to see that for Report Stage of the Bill, MPs were given only two and a half hours to debate and then vote once again on over 300 pages of proposals. This is deeply inadequate and prevents MPs from properly debating and scrutinising policies that will have a severe impact on the rights, liberties and freedoms of their constituents.

This Bill continues to represent an attack on some of the most fundamental rights of citizens, in particular those from marginalised communities.

We urge the government to fundamentally rethink its approach.

Yours sincerely,

Gracie Bradley, Interim Director, Liberty

Hugh Knowles & Miriam Turner, Co-Executive Directors, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Sarah Mann, Director, Friends, Families and Travellers

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain

Stephanie Draper, Chief Executive, Bond

Nicholas Hepworth, Executive Director, Water Witness International

Silkie Carlo, Director, Big Brother Watch

Nina Champion, Director, Criminal Justice Alliance

Tom Brake, Director, Unlock Democracy

Sheniz Tan, CEO, Asfar CIC

Mike Podmore, Director, STOPAIDS

Tiziana Oliva, Managing Director, Global influencing and Programmes, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Calvin Laing, Acting Executive Director, Stakeholder Democracy Network

Asad Rehman, Executive Director, War on Want

Deborah Coles, Director, INQUEST

Patrick Roach, General Secretary, NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union

John Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer, International Nepal Fellowship UK

Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy and Communications, CAFOD

Lauren Nickolls, Senior Project Manager, Maslaha

Marc Willers QC, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress (TUC)

Josie O Driscoll CEO, GATE Herts

Jake Bowers, Founder, Gypsy Media Company

Yvonne McNamara, CEO, Traveller Movement

Zita Holbourne, National Chair and co-founder, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK

Lucie Russell, CEO, StreetDoctors

Mark Cridge, Chief Executive, mySociety

Vicky Browning, Chief Executive, ACEVO

Sherrie Smith, Co-Chair, Drive2Survive

Jeremiah Cash, Chair, Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Equally Essex (GATE Essex)

Sarah Vibert, Interim Chief Executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Sam Gisagara, Equalities officer, Unite’s Community Branch Camden Town! Unite the Union!

Brian Dalton, CEO, Irish in Britain

Simon Ruston, Director, Ruston Planning Limited

Allison Hulmes, National Director for Wales, British Association of Social Workers

Jackie Bolton, Founding Member, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Social Work Association

Aderonke Apata, Founder and Chairperson, African Rainbow Family

Aaron Oxley, Executive Director, RESULTS UK

Rachel Bentley, CEO, Children on the Edge

Pippa Goodfellow, Director, Alliance for Youth Justice

Yasmine Ahmed, UK Director, Human Rights Watch

Graeme Hodge, CEO, All We Can

Symon Hill, Campaigns and Communications Manager, Peace Pledge Union

Ailie Rutherford, Director, Feminist Exchange Network

Violet Margaret Cannon, Director & CEO, York Travellers Trust

Beatrice Millar, Chair, Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility

Jen Persson, Director, defend digital me

Jessica Mullen, Acting Co-Chief Executive and Director of Influence and Communications, Clinks

Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director, René Cassin

Chris Jones, Executive Director, Statewatch

Chris Johnson, Partner, Community Law Partnership

Louise King, Director, Children’s Rights Alliance for England

Philippa Bird, Convenor Creation Justice and Peace Network, Third Order of the Society of St Francis

Alison Blackwood, Manager, Southwark Travellers Action Group

Win Lawlor, Strategic Policy & Partnerships Lead, Irish Community Care

Khatuna Tsintsadze, Co-Director, Zahid Mubarek Trust

Ann Farr, Chair, Pax Christi, England and Wales

Jess McQuail, Director, Just Fair

Suzanne Jeffery, Chair, Campaign against Climate Change

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, Transport salaried Staffs’ Association

Isobel Ingham-Barrow, Head of Policy, Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND)

Len McCluskey, General Secretary, Unite the Union

Helen Pankhurst, Convener, Centenary Action Group

Paddy Lillis, General Secretary, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW)

Mark Kieran, Chief Executive, Open Britain

Philippa Carrick, CEO, Tibet Relief Fund

Sam Walton, CEO, Free Tibet

Deniz Ugur, Deputy Director, End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW)

Antje Heider-Rottwilm, Chair, Church and Peace – European Peace Church Network

Rob Yeldham, Director of Policy, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Paul Streets, Chief Executive, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales

Katrina Ffrench, Director, Unjust C.I.C

Daniel Bruce, Chief Executive, Transparency International UK

Sacha Deshmukh, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Amnesty International UK

Sarah Woolley, General Secretary, Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU)

Shavabah Tah, General Secretary, Wales TUC

Melanie Jameson, Founder, Malvern Individuals for Peace

Jackie Murphy, CEO, TGP Cymru

Suzanne Duval, BAME Mental Health Manager, Diverse Cymru

Rebecca Williams, Deputy General Secretary, Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru


Leila Usmani Founder, BeDiverse

Cat Hobbs, Director, We Own It

Kate Paradine, Chief Executive, Women in Prison

Razia Hadait, CEO and Founder/Director, Himaya Haven

Karen Onyekachi, Odidika, Coordinator, SOAS Detainee Support

Ellie Gellard, Campaigns Director, 38 Degrees

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, Humanists UK

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam Great Britain

Representatives, Remember and Resist

Jago Russell, Chief Executive, Fair Trials

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)

Gisela Valle, Director, Latin American Women’s Rights Service

Paul W Fleming, General Secretary, Equity

Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters

Kamran Mallick, CEO, Disability Rights UK

Naomi Smith, CEO, Best for Britain

Tom Brufatto, Director, March for Change

Susan, Cueva, Co-founder and Trustee, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium

Kunle Olulode, Director, Voice4Change England

Alex Jacobs, Director, Joffe Charitable Trust

Sue Tibballs, Chief Executive, Sheila McKechnie Foundation

Felicia Willow, Interim Chief Executive, The Fawcett Society

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries, National Education Union

Richard Robinson, CEO, Hourglass

Matt Wrack, General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union

Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF

Debby Kennett, CEO, London Gypsies and Travellers

Aliya Mohammed, CEO, Race Equality First

Annie Viswanathan, Director, Bail for Immigration Detainees

Humie Webbe, Strategic Equality and Diversity Lead, National Training Federation for Wales

Jessica Turtle, Co-founder, Museum of Homelessness

Jasmine Brar, Development Officer, East End Community Foundation

Elsie Gayle, Director, Midwifery Conversations

Louise Hazan, Co-founder, Tipping Point UK

Hannah Yates, Head of Communications, The Humane League UK

Michelle Le Vine, Occupational Therapist, OTcareservices

Jemima Hartshorn, Founder/Director, Mums for Lungs

Emily Wilson, Head of Programmes, FOUR PAWS UK

Sarah Miguel, Head of Fundraising, Campaign Bootcamp

Michael Chandler, CEO, Union Chapel Project

Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust

Jerry Barr, Chair, Transition Cleeve

Joeli Brearley, CEO, Pregnant Then Screwed

Huffty McHugh, Centre Co-ordinator, West End Women and Girls Centre

Jacky Peacock, CEO, Advice for Renters

Representatives, Black Protest Legal Support

Daniel, Gorman, Director, English PEN

Tim Allard, Development Manager, MensCraft

Nusa Urbancic, Campaigns Director, Changing Markets Foundation

Louise Davies, Chief Executive, The Vegan Society

Shashi Ioannides, Acting CEO / Fundraising & Communications Manager, Migrants’ Rights Network

Philippa Childs, Head of Bectu, Bectu sector of Prospect

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive, National AIDS Trust

Jo Grady, General Secretary, University and College Union (UCU)

Alphonsine, Kabagabo, Director, Women for Refugee Women

Martin Drewry, CEO, Health Poverty Action

Katy Styles, Founder, We Care Campaign

Sue Claydon, Chair, Anglican Pacifist Fellowship

Miriam Donaghy, CEO, MumsAid maternal mental health support

Joel Lewis, Chief Executive, The Foyer Federation

Revd Clare Downing, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church

Mike Clancy, General Secretary, Prospect

Nick Dearden, Director, Global Justice Now

Wendy Micklewright, Member, Friendship Group

Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary, NUJ

Liz Fekete, Director, Institute of Race Relations

Tracey, Lazard, CEO, Inclusion London

Rocio Cifuentes, CEO, Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team (EYST) Wales

Jacqui Hunt, Head of Office, Equality Now

Mark Hoda, Chair, Gandhi Foundation

William Rhind, Minute Secretary, Wimbledon Disarmament Coalition

Duncan Gall, Head of Federation Support, Emmaus UK

Sarah Greenfield Clark, Director, Climate 2025

Jenni levine, Facilitator, Rising spirit

Tim Naor Hilton, CEO, Refugee Action

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind

Ali Harris, Chief Executive, Equally Ours

Liz O’Neill, Director, GM Freeze

Rev Sonia Hicks, President, The Methodist Church

Polly Neate, Chief Executive, Shelter

Kate Hudson, General Secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Louisa McGeehan, Chief Executive, Just for Kids Law

Sanchita Hosali, Director, The British Institute of Human Rights

Terence Brown, Coordinator, Wandsworth Friends of the Earth

Zrinka Bralo, CEO, Migrants Organise

Luci Ransome, Inverclyde Communuty Food Development Worker, Inverclyde Community Food Network

Leigh Morgan, Senior Legal Officer, Rights of Women

Faith Gakanje-Ajala, Community Development Officer, Fagee Fashions

Celia McKeon, CEO, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Fiona Weir, CEO, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd

Satbir Singh, Chief Executive, The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Nik Hartley OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Spinal Injuries Association

Gloria Morrison, Campaign Coordinator, JENGbA

Mary Ann Clements, Interim CEO, ADD International

Sophie Livingstone, CEO, Little Village

Jules Hillier, Chief Executive, Pause

Steve Trent, CEO, Environmental Justice Foundation

Sarah Robinson, Director, Hope for the Future

Jackie Longworth, Chair, Fair Play South West, the women’s equality network

Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive, Stonewall

Roger Geffen, Policy Director, Cycling UK

Sondhya Gupta, Campaign Manager, SumOfUs

Sarah Hirom, Trustee, One World Week

Remi Joseph-Salisbury, Kerry Pimblott and Laura Connelly, Steering Group Members, Northern Police Monitoring Project

Theo Gavrielides, Founder & Director, Restorative Justice for All International Institute

Sue Ward, Church Representative: Christian Aid, Fairtrade, Climate Change, Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral

Deborah Sangster, Director, StopWatch UK

Raheel Mohammed, Director, Maslaha

Greg Sproston, Policy & Campaigns Manager, Traveller Movement

Sue Holt, Coordinator, Havant Friends of the Earth

Beccy Speight, Chief Executive, RPSB

Ellie Rogers, CEO, Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange (GATE)

Kevin Keith, Chair, UK Open Government Network

Mark Freeman, CEO, Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service

Jane van Zyl, CEO, Working Families

Melvin Bradley, CEO, Mental Health Independent Support Team

Angus Murdoch, Director, Murdoch Planning Limited

Shanon Shah, Director, Faith for the Climate

Alicja Zalesinska, Director, Tai Pawb

Calum Green, Director of Advocacy & Communications, Involve

Heidi Chow, Executive Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign

Christina McAnea, General Secretary, UNISON

Ruth Power, Chief Executive Officer, Shelter Cymru

Ingrid Tennessee, Chief Executive Officer, Quo Vadis Trust

Paul Davies, CEO, British Mountaineering Council

Michael Lynch, General Secretary, RMT (The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers)

Helen Close, Research Associate, Omega Research Foundation

Paul W Fleming, General Secretary, Equity

Sharon McKenzie, Treasurer, St Mary’s Centre

Olivia Fuchs, Coordinator, Eco Dharma Network

Robert Moore, Company Secretary, North Wales Regional Equality Network

Jamie Cresswell, Director, Centre for Applied Buddhism

Doug Parr, Policy Director, Greenpeace UK

Julie Bishop, Director, Law Centres Network

Reem Abu-Hayyeh, Interim Co-Director, Medact

Matt Shardlow, CEO, Buglife

Helen Moulinos, Chief Executive, POhWER

Rohan Kon, Chair of Board of Directors, ACORN

Rita Chadha, CEO, Small Charities Coalition

Kit Stoner, Chief Executive, Bat Conservation Trust

Andrea Coomber, Director, JUSTICE

Sue James, CEO, Legal Action Group

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive, National Secular Society

Paul Cook, Head of Advocacy, Tearfund

Abi Bunker, Director of Conservation & External Affairs, Woodland Trust

Dr. Ksenia Bakina, Legal Officer, Privacy International

Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Director, CLASS

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary, Community

Tabitha Morton, CEO, More United

Maurice Mcleod, CEO, Race on the Agenda

Isaac Blake, Director, The Romani Cultural and Arts Company

Alexander Carnwath, Head of Policy and Advocacy, Traidcraft Exchange

Roger Wilson, Director, Unite to Reform

Steve Crawshaw, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Freedom from Torture

Sufina Ahmad MBE, Director, John Ellerman Foundation

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, CEO, Christian Aid

Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director, Release

Joan Edwards, Director Policy and Public Affairs, The Wildlife Trusts

Emma Slawinski, Director, Advocacy and Policy, RSPCA

Jay Kennedy, Director of Policy and Research, Directory of Social Change

Natalie Samarasinghe, CEO, United Nations Association – UK

Dr Fatima Rajina, Co-founder and Member, Nijjor Manush

Neal Lawson, Executive Director, Compass

Diarmaid McDonald, Lead Organiser, Just Treatment

Tessa Khan, Director, Uplift

Dr. Tom Mills, Chair, Media Reform Coalition

Andrew Simms, Co-director, New Weather Institute

Sabby Dhalu, Co-Convenor, Stand up to Racism

Nicolas Hatton, CEO, the3million

Weyman Bennett, Joint Secretary, Unite Against Fascism

Pete Radcliff, Convenor, Labour Movement Solidarity with Hong Kong (UK)

Maari Nastari, Interim CEO, The Outside Project

Ruth Smeeth, CEO, Index on Censorship

Jinsella Kennaway, Executive Director, Demilitarise Education

Ruth London, Co-director, Fuel Poverty Action

Sue James, Chair, Havant Climate Alliance

Martin Thomas, Editor, Solidarity (Alliance for Workers’ Liberty)

Daniel Randall, Co-organiser, Free Our Unions

Graham Gardiner, CEO, Age UK Lambeth

Revd Dr Darrell Hannah, Chair, Operation Noah

Helen Belcher, Chair, TransActual CIC

Sam Bjorn, Member, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants

Julie Ward, Committee Member & Public Spokesperson, No to Hassockfield Campaign

Ruth London, Co-director, Fuel Poverty Action

Guy Shrubsole, Co-founder, Right to Roam campaign

John Drysdale, Chair of Trustees, Gypsies and Travellers Wales

Hannan Majid, Director, Rainbow Collective

Nick Lowles, CEO, HOPE Not Hate

Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, UK Women’s Budget Group

Chris Saltmarsh, Chair, Steering Group, Labour for a Green New Deal

Claire Bass, Executive Director, Humane Society International UK

Michael Chessum, National organiser, Another Europe Is Possible

Lesley Storey, CEO, My Sisters Place

Deborah Tomkins, Co-Chair, Green Christian

Gus Alston, CEO, Stonegrove Community Trust

Fiona Dwyer, CEO, Solace

Abby Traynor, Chief Executive, Acorns (North Tyneside)

Fiona Gwinnett, CEO, Wight DASH

Sara Kirkpatrick, CEO, Welsh Women’s Aid

Becky Rogerson, Wearside Women in Need, Wearside Women in Need

Kenneth Simpson, Chief Executive, VSA

Dr Mary-Ann, Stephenson, Director, Women’s Budget Group UK

Nicola Round, Director, Adfree Cities

Janet Thorne, Reach Volunteering, Reach Volunteering

Kyle Lischak, Head of UK, ClientEarth

Siân Summers-Rees, Chief Officer, City of Sanctuary UK

Henna Cheema, Co-Director, Biofuelwatch

Jo Hobbs MBE, CEO, British Youth Council

Matt Shepheard, Director, Likewise Community

Jan Hutchinson, Director of Programmes, Centre for Mental Health

Horace Trubridge, General Secretary, Musicians’ Union (MU)

Hugo Tagholm, CEO, Surfers Against Sewage

Rose Caldwell, CEO, Plan International UK

Iona Soper, Associate, Secure Scotland

Cecile Campagne, Director, Sol Cafe C.I.C

Erin Aniker and Jess Nash, Founders, WeAreHere UK

Carina Millstone, Executive Director, Feedback Global

Tom Baker, Director of Campaigns and Organising, Save the Children UK

Barbora Bukovska, Senior Director for Law and Policy, ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression

Hasan Dodwell, Director, Justice for Colombia

Amy Rushent, Artistic Director, Burning Pages Theatre Company

Ruth Cashman and Simon Hannah, Co-Secretaries, Lambeth Unison

John Cooper, Director, The Fellowship of Reconciliation

Katy Ashton, Director, People’s History Museum

Andrew Scattergood, Co-Chair, Momentum

Martin Pennington, Chair, Red Leicester Choir

Ben Jamal, Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Henry Lopez, General Secretary, Independent Workers Union of Great Britain

Hau-Yu Tam, Head of Campaigns, End the Virus of Racism

Andrea Gilbert, BAME Regional officer, IWW

Robert Freudenthal, Chair, Kehillah North London

Maurice Mcleod, CEO, Race on the Agenda

Lynne Chamberlain, Secretary, Greenwich and Bexley TUC

Yvonne Field, Founder/CEO, The Ubele Initiative

Janet Fenton, Organiser, Secure Scotland

Tony O’Sullivan, Co-chair, Keep Our NHS Public

Kathy Evans, CEO, Children England

Lynn Jamieson, Chair, Scottish CND

Caroline Mackechnie-Jarvis, CEO, Women’s Aid in Luton

Nina Kaye, Admin, Epsom Refugee Network

Will Stephens, Communications Coordinator, United Voices of the World (UVW-SAW)

Umme Imam, Executive Director, The Angelou Centre

Jo Maugham, Director, Good Law Project

Revd. Lynn Green, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain

Annie Emery, CEO, Manchester Action on Street Health

Andrew James Brown, Minister, Cambridge Unitarian Church

Ank Rigelsford, Church of England, Church of England

Matt Smith, Senior worker, TravellerSpace

Chris Jarvis, Head of strategy and Development, Left Foot Forward

Representatives, Psychologists for Social Change

Oli Rodker, Director, Landworkers Alliance

Timothy Pulford, Team Manager, CAMHS, NELFT

Kafiluddin Chowdhury, Volunteer, Eyst Swansea

Maria Lorena, Dolan Chandler, Senior Family & Systemic Psychotherapist CAMHS

Jake Lake, Policy, Public Health and Prevention Lead, MAC-UK

John White, CEO, Global Care & Global Care Volunteers

Sinéad Nolan, Communications Manager, Irish Council for Civil Liberties

Anita Konrad, CEO, Campaign for National Parks

Frances Longley, CEO, ActionAid UK

Sally Zlotowitz, CEO, Art Against Knives

David Cutler, Director, Baring Foundation

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