London's top cop wishes he could ban protest marches

Sir Paul Stephenson, the chief of London's police force, has floated the idea of banning protest marches altogether, although he admits that it might be hard to do this because protesters might be so frustrated by a ban on marching that they become unruly. Interestingly, he doesn't disqualify the idea on the grounds that protest marches are a legitimate form of political discourse.

Asked at the press conference if the Met would consider banning future marches, Sir Paul replied: "That's one of the options we have got. Banning is a very difficult step to take, these are very balanced judgments.

"We can't ban a demonstration but we can ban a march, subject to approval by the Home Secretary."

But he went on: "When you have got people willing to break the law in this way, what is the likelihood of them obeying an order not to march or complying with conditions on a demonstration?

"Sometimes putting that power in could just be inflaming the situation further."

Police may ban future marches to prevent disorder

(Thanks, Joeposts, via Submitterator!)

(Image: Take Back Parliament! (London, 15 May 2010), a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from pjspooner's photostream)