Police urged to take a zero-tolerance approach to feeding protesters: ‘The last thing we want is | Policy | News

There is a fear that if no action is taken, the “go slow” protests on the highways could continue. On Monday there was a series of protests with vehicles traveling less than 30 mph on two freeway lanes.

Those affected include the M4 and Prince of Wales Bridge over the River Severn, the M5 in Devon, the M32, the A38, the M180 in Lincolnshire, the A12 in Essex, the A92 in Scotland and the A64 near York.

Police made 13 arrests during demonstrations organized by a new group known as Fuel Price Stand Against Tax demonstrating against record fuel prices.

However, like other direct action groups such as Insulate Britain or Just Stop Oil, they are not motivated by environmental considerations.

Protesters have warned they will continue with more demonstrations unless the government does more to tackle skyrocketing fuel prices.

Petrol has risen from £1.45 a liter to around £1.91 since the start of the year and 45 per cent of the cost now comes from VAT and fuel taxes.

According to high-level government sources, Home Secretary Priti Patel hopes the police will use new powers to ensure future fuel protests are contained.

Downing Street backed Ms Patel’s stance with the Prime Minister expecting the police to take tougher action under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.

The law imposed a maximum sentence of six months in prison for blocking a public highway and an unlimited fine.

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“The last thing we want to see is these kinds of protests continuing and disrupting people’s travel plans through the summer.

“We expect the police to enforce the law.

“Through our Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, we have given police a host of powers to deal with disruptive and harmful protests, including imprisonment and unlimited fines for those who block a road, actions that inflict more pain to those affected by the price increase.

“The Home Secretary would encourage and support the police to use all available powers.”

A separate government source argued that the police should prosecute protesters who had filmed themselves driving.

They said, “That should be an immediate six points on his license and we’d expect the police to come after him.”

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