Cornwall news G7 activist files complaint after police 'raid' his home and work UK news

MetiNews.Com - Rob Higgs claims police actions were 'stifling and intimidating'

Cornwall news G7 activist files complaint after police 'raid' his home and work UK news

MetiNews.Com - Rob Higgs claims police actions were 'stifling and intimidating'

Cornwall news  G7 activist files complaint after police 'raid' his home and work UK news
16 May 2021 - 14:52

Breaking News ! A G7 activist is filing an official complaint to the police after claiming uniformed and plain clothes officers simultaneously raided his home, workplace and a business where he keeps his boat. Rob Higgs says that on Thursday afternoon, 15 to 20 officers – including, he understands, a ‘prevent and detect’ team from Exeter – raided his workshop at Trevone Quarry, Mabe, near Falmouth, as well as his nearby home and Ponsharden Boatyard at Penryn where he keeps his boat. Rob, who is a theatre maker and co-founder of climate action group Ocean Rebellion, said of the raids: “They searched the premises without any warrants, interviewing all my neighbours and tenants, asking about me, what I do and telling people at the boatyard that I am a ‘person of interest’. “I’m very saddened as it’s heavy-handed and their actions are stifling and intimidating the right to peaceful protest.” Rob claims the raids were part of Project Servator, which is described by the police as aiming “to deter, detect and disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, while providing a reassuring presence for the public”. Servator - which is Latin for 'watcher' – has been deployed by several UK forces since 2014, and was trialled in in Exeter city centre during 2019 in the wake of terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London in 2017. A force spokesperson has previously said people "shouldn’t be worried if a deployment happens in your area". You can stay up to date on the top news and events near you with CornwallLive’s FREE newsletters – enter your email address at the top of the page He told CornwallLive: “The police’s quote was, ‘We’re just letting you know that we will not in any way stop peaceful protest but we can arrest you at any time that we believe you might be considering disrupting the G7 Summit’, which wouldn’t be legal as normally you’ve got to break a law to be arrested, unless what they’re hinting at is conspiracy charges, which is what I’ve been arrested for before. “The only way they can get you, if you’re not breaking the law, is by saying, ‘We think you’re conspiring to possibly do something naughty in the future, so we’re going to arrest you now so that we can stop you doing what you’re doing, and then we’ll release you 24 hours later and we’ll drop the charges a year after that’. “They did that to me a few years ago and this is what they’ve come around to hint – not to hint, actually – but to state they have the right to do that. “All of our actions have been completely lawful – we’ve even got the head of the London city police in a statement saying you guys are the best activists we’ve ever come across because you work completely within the law.” He added: “It’s because I’m a co-founder of Ocean Rebellion, which is an entirely peaceful, legal organisation trying to raise awareness of the oceans. “We basically make photo shoots and small pop-up theatrical performances that gets good media and global coverage about ocean degradation and how the seas are dying. We’re trying to raise awareness of that and push legislation from the UN to reverse the ocean degradation. More G7 Summit news Over 5,500 officer to police the G7 Government didn't ask for hotel work Rumour and reality of the G7 Major road closures and disruptions “For the last few months the G7 police have been asking what our plans are and made contact early on saying they’d like to facilitate a peaceful protest. We said ‘thanks but generally you stop it whenever we tell you what we’re doing.’ “We’ve got a dedicated police liaison officer already who has been in discussion with them for months now trying to get them to tell us what we can and can’t do and where we can and can’t go, and we will design all our actions around that to stay within the legal frameworks. I don’t want to break any laws. “They have refused to let us know, specifically on the water, where the exclusion zones are. They come back to our police liaison officer asking what we’re planning and we tell them we can’t say until they tell us where we can do it!” Rob said: “We don’t call what we do protest.

. I’m a professional theatre props maker, my partner is a filmmaker and we create professional photo shoots, all risk assessed, and we’re normally funded by clients who have an ecological and ethical aspiration.” Rob was responsible for building the portable house which was covered by the world’s media when used in an Extinction Rebellion protest march in London in 2019. “That was completely lawful but I had all of my equipment confiscated by police on the way up to London before I even got there. I had to buy all the equipment again,” he said. “It is entirely political – they have been instructed by the Government to stop any creative action because they don’t want the headlines. “I know the only way to get the media to tell the story of climate change and the problems with the oil industry and the politicians in the pocket of it, is to get a silly picture. So I create iconic images. Their brief is to stop the iconic images, so we’ve been expecting them at my warehouse. “We were expecting that to happen at G7. We weren’t expecting them to come down a month before and explain that’s what they’re going to do. It’s really insidious. It comes right back to the policing bill – the idea to give the police more powers right now is frightening.” Activist and sculptor Rob Higgs says that he was unfairly subjected to a police raid at his home and workshop near Falmouth, in the lead up to the G7 summit He added: “My partner Sophie was questioned about me and was told ‘obviously we want to facilitate protest but we can turn up en masse in hi viz to arrest you if we suspect criminal activity ranging from petty criminal damage right up to terrorist attacks and anything in-between. It could either be a heavy-handed police presence or a plain-clothed officer in a pair of shorts, if we suspect you intend to disrupt the G7’.” Rob said he has since heard from the boatyard residents that police have been around several times looking for him. “On previous visits to the boatyard, they have been interviewing my neighbours about me to the point that the neighbours are uncomfortable to testify to this, as they felt threatened by the encounter.” He added that he was filing an official complaint to the police and had also taken it up with the Cabinet Office. CornwallLive has contacted Devon and Cornwall Police and the Cabinet Office for a reaction to Rob's concerns but has yet to receive a response.

Source = MetiNews.Com - Cornwall

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Cornwall news G7 activist files complaint after police 'raid' his home and work UK news


Cornwall news G7 activist files complaint after police 'raid' his home and work UK news


Cornwall news G7 activist files complaint after police 'raid' his home and work UK news


Cornwall news G7 activist files complaint after police 'raid' his home and work UK news

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