Here is an A4 printable bust card to take with you
The normal printed bust cards will be produced but distribution may be problematic initially so don’t rely on having received them – read it and and write the numbers down on your arm or leg before you leave.
Any queries contact Legal on 07946 541511. Add the number to your phone before leaving.
If you would like to help during the Camp in the legal tent or as a legal observer please contact legal[at]climatecamp.org.uk. Trainings for legal observers are taking place in London on 11th August 2010, SOAS (please email for details), Edinburgh on the morning of the SWOOP, and throughout the Camp.
Here is the pre-Camp legal briefing:
If you are under 16 years old, an international, or driving to the Camp please do look at the link in the more information section below. Do this now rather than just before leaving as you may need to take some action as a result of reading it.
You may encounter the police at some point attending the camp, so the bust card and this briefing are to help you feel more confident about the prospect especially since it will be Scots law not English law that applies. Legal observers may be around to give you support. When the police are around, arrests can happen unexpectedly, so do read this information and the bust card even if you think it would never happen to you.
The key points about searches are:
- No search power (not even s60) gives the police the power to require you to give your name and address. It undermines others to give it – so don’t, if you don’t have to. It helps not to have brought anything with you personal details on with you, especially photo cards. Think about locking your phone – details below. There are 3 situations when you must give your personal details – please read the bust card so you know them. There are no search forms in Scotland. Generally it is a good idea to keep your phone and wallet in your pocket, and (ideally) show it rather than pass them over. They should not be reading your diary and look at your details on bank cards and your phone contacts if they are searching for weapons or items to cause criminal damage so you could try reminding them.
- Do not bring knives or drugs. Knives mean anything sharp or bladed (unless it is a folding knife with a blade of 3 inches or less) – the police take this seriously so you need to. If you bring medicine or any other pills bring it in its original packaging. If you are on a bike, think about the type of bike lock you bring with you as D-locks may get seized.
You may want to bear in mind that it is an offence to drink in Edinburgh parks, public spaces and roads.
The key points about detentions and arrests are:
- In Scotland you must give your name, address, date and place of birth and nationality if the officer reasonably suspects you of an offence (do ask some questions so you are sure what offence, when, and why s/he suspects you first) or detains or arrests you. (If you think they are trying it on you could say you will tell the sergeant at the custody desk.)
- You do not need to answer any other questions or provide any other information. Remember there is no such thing as a friendly chat with the police so don’t chat and make ‘no comment’ until you have taken legal advice.
- It is best not to acknowledge other activists arrested by name or at all.
- Have a book with you, the custody may let you retain it to read whilst in custody.
- Consider giving Legal your name and address before going out on an action as sometimes the police will confirm your name address with Arrestee Support and this gets you released quicker. Remember you may be bailed away from the Camp so make sure Legal knows a contact for you at the Camp who can collect your kit for you.
- We recommend you use the Arrestee Support as the person you wish to have informed of your arrest and tell the custody officer that they can talk to Arrestee Support about your situation and welfare.
- Details of your main rights on arrest and in custody are in the bust card – so read it. Do not assume you will not get arrested – come prepared.
- Remember sometimes (rarely) your home is searched if you are arrested, so you might want to think that through before leaving.
- If you are under 16 years, consider your parents giving written authorisation for a member of the Legal Team to act as a responsible adult for you (see the link to the relevant guide below).
Key legal differences to English Law
Searches There is no PACE, so no section 1 searches or PACE codes in custody. There are no search forms. There is no s50 (regarding anti-social behaviour). Same laws on masks. Terrorism Act is the same.
Offences Aggravated trespass only covers land. Criminal damage (called malicious mischief) includes causing economic loss, although charging for it is rare. Activists are mostly charged with Breach of the Peace. This is a wide ranging offence and unlike in England you can be convicted and even sent to prison rather than just bound over. The sentence would normally be a small fine, although there is no maximum sentence. In theory breach of the peace requires disorderly or riotous conduct to the alarm, annoyance or disturbance of a person (or would have had a reasonable person been there). Other offences commonly used with activists are malicious mischief (criminal damage), vandalism, theft, assault, aggravated trespass, assaulting or obstructing a police officer in their course of their duty.
Arrests There is what might be called a graduated approach to arrests – from detaining you and confirming your details based on reasonably suspecting you of an offence, through to arrest. There is no caution until the arrest stage (although it may not even happen then). There is no PACE code but the provisions for your welfare in custody are similar.
Guide to Scots law for activists: http://scalp.noflag.org.uk/legal-guide/
Guide for young people (under 16): http://scalp.noflag.org.uk/legal-guide/juveniles/
Guide for internationals: http://scalp.noflag.org.uk/legal-guide/internationals/
Guide for vehicle drivers: http://scalp.noflag.org.uk/legal-guide/vehicle-drivers/
Arrest process and your rights – excellent advice on the right to remain silent http://www.activistslegalproject.org.uk/Arrest%20Process%20and%20Your%20Rights5.pdf
The impact of arrest and criminal convictions: http://www.activistslegalproject.org.uk/Impact%20of%20Arrest%20and%20Conv.pdf
Finally, a plug for Fitwatch…
...turning the tables on the police surveillance… details of how to Fitwatch at http://www.fitwatch.blogspot.com/. Please take phones of any FIT (forward intelligence team officers) you see, so that their numbers are visible and bring them to the Legal tent to pass on to Fitwatch.