31 October, 2014 14:00

Dear All,

Please make necessary staff aware in relation to building security regarding anticipated demonstrations on 5th November 2014.

The protest group Anonymous is advertising a global event on Wednesday 5th November 2014 to protest against war crimes, abuse of power and infringement of civil liberties. “The Million Mask March” was launched last year to protest at a huge range of issues from government corruption to spying and war crimes.
On 5 November 2013 people gathered in London to take part in the march. The event was organised to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day as the Guy Fawkes mask has become a symbol of Anonymous. The 2014 running of the event will be under the banner of Operation Vendetta, one of Anonymous’ on-going campaigns protesting against government corruption. The event is advertised to begin at 6pm at Trafalgar Square and then move down Whitehall to Parliament Square.
Very limited information on this event has been passed to the police and there is no specific intelligence to indicate anywhere in London will be specifically targeted for antisocial or criminal behaviour.

Police have been appealing to the organisers of demonstrations publicised to take place in central London on Wednesday 5 November, to engage at an early stage.

We wish to work with organisers and discuss their plans so that they can protest safely and with minimum disruption to Londoners on a busy bonfire night.
When we became aware of the planned demonstrations and protest, we tried to make contact with groups who we believed may consider attending, so far without success.

Chief Superintendent Pippa Mills, from the Metropolitan Police Service said, “We facilitate thousands of protests in London every year. We want to engage with the various groups advertising their plans for next week’s event, so that we can work together to ensure they can protest safely whilst making sure that serious disruption to the life of the community is avoided.”

“Yesterday we pushed out a letter through our social media channels asking those involved in organising the event to discuss their plans with us. There has been a lot of chatter on social media but so far nobody has come forward. We are keen to talk with them to ensure they are able to protest; It is important that they talk to us so that we can work together to achieve a safe and successful event"

Contact the Metropolitan Police Service either at a local station, by calling 101, emailing pltgatewayteam or the GSZIR direct 0203 276 0440 – GSZControl

Further updates shall follow nearer the time as more information comes to light.

Additional Information for Businesses & premises
The Million Mask March

The following information provides a guide to the role of the police and the business/premises owner during such protests.

Policing intention

  • To prevent and detect crime
  • To protect life and property
  • To maintain the Queen’s Peace
  • To prevent serious disruption to the life of the business and residential community and vehicular traffic

The Metropolitan police service is fully aware of the potential impact of any demonstrations on the local community and is well equipped to deal with events like this should it be required.

An appropriate policing plan for London will be in place and local police in every borough in London will be passed any specific information on any identified threat to specific premises. Please feel free to contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team or Business Partnership Officer from the local police senior leadership team if you have any concerns or further enquiries.

Businesses and private premises should be aware that a majority of protests are peaceful and under Human Rights legislation should be facilitated on public land unless certain exceptions apply, however it is always possible that individuals attending may not be intent on holding a peaceful protest.

In relation to protests within private property, Police see the primary responsibility for the security of the property and the management of any trespass within the store as being that of the land owner/company. As you are well aware, opening your stores for business implies invitation to all persons. The Store Manager or representative of the company / premises can withdraw this invitation at any time.

Incursions with no disorder

Should there be an incursion into your premises which is not disorderly and police are requested to attend it should be stressed that this is likely not to be a criminal trespass. The expectations of the officers attending will be to witness a representative of the premises request those trespassing to leave, whilst in the presence and hearing of the officer.

If asked to assist in the ejection of these persons, police are acting as an agent of the company and have no more powers and privileges than that of an ordinary member of the public. The officer(s) are there to standby and prevent a breach of the peace whilst the representative of the store asks the person(s) to leave. Police will escort store / company staff and the person concerned out onto public land. If there are criminal offences apparent then officers will deal with these as they would in any normal situation.

Incursions with disorder

Legislation exists under Section 68, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in the event of direct action to disrupt the normal operation of the premises. This is called Aggravated Trespass. The senior officer present may seek to use powers but will look to the premises manager / representative to support this process by providing confirmation of what business if any is being affected and a willingness to provide a statement and attend court if necessary.

We also request that any CCTV in relation to the incursion be provided at the earliest opportunity.

In practice the store/premises manager or person able to make a decision on behalf of the premises has to be willing and able to state in the presence of the person(s) that they reasonably believe that the person(s) are trespassing on private property and that they have acted or are acting in a manner which is disruptive to the normal business of this premises. The exact nature of the disruption must be described.

Police officers will have access to detailed guidance and exact wording to help your staff and will be there at all times to support them in such incidents.

Crime prevention advice

The following links to key website information have proved highly successful for the business community and their staff during recent protests in London:

Metropolitan Police Service – Metropolitan Police Business Portal

London Resilience Team | Business Continuity | Making Plans

Security and crime prevention | Business Link

You can help to protect your premises by taking a few sensible precautions. The following points are a list of considerations and are by no means exhaustive.

1. Premises should be suitable staffed with a prominent management presence that can make themselves identifiable to police (in the event of an incursion).
2. Security officers, where possible, should have a visible presence on premises.
3. In the days leading up to an event ensure all staffs are fully briefed.
4. All staff should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to security and / or police.
5. Consider minimizing the number of entry points to your building.
6. Ensure that the building perimeters are clear of debris, dustbins, ladders or loose tools and equipment.
7. Check that your emergency equipment/grab bags/ first aid supplies and radio communication systems are stocked and fully operational.
8. Check and test building security and emergency systems.
9. Ensure all members of staff are fully aware of any emergency/evacuation procedures.
10. Ensure CCTV coverage is fully operational an can provide the highest recording resolution as possible.
11. If your building has scaffolding erected or is in close proximity of scaffolding, security staff should be aware of the potential for easy access.

In the event of an emergency, always call 999.

Kind Regards,

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