Statement from Acting Police and Crime Commissioner, Ray Bisby
February 17th, 2020
The Commissioner appreciates the depth of feeling and the impact the current action being taken by Extinction Rebellion may have. The operational policing response to the protest is one that the Chief Constable is responsible for, and as with any other policing operation, by law the Commissioner cannot get involved in. However, he has conveyed public opinion to the Chief Constable. He is also aware of the public petition. The Commissioner continues to seek reassurance from the Chief Constable as the situation progresses as to how the police will be responding.
The right to peaceful protest which the police have a duty to facilitate, needs to be balanced against the other responsibilities of the police to promote public safety, maintain public order, prevent crime and protect the rights of others. Both the Chief Constable and the Commissioner understand this fine balance and that at times this can lead to public frustration. The Constabulary is in a challenging position where they will work in partnership to provide a proportionate policing response to the protest, balancing the needs and rights of protestors with those impacted by the protest. The Constabulary will be working with local agencies to mitigate the impact of any disruptions caused by the protests.
The Constabulary will be providing regular updates via their social media channels which he encourages members of the public to check.