Sheffield TUC says NO! to the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (or Policing Bill)

We defend the right to protest and oppose the rise of the authoritarian state


National Day of Action Saturday 3rd April

 Sheffield TUC joins the growing chorus of voices opposing the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. We reject this Government’s plans to further restrict our freedoms:

  • impose unacceptable restraints on our right to protest;
  • give the police additional powers (which they don’t need)
  • remove democratic accountability from the police and the state
  • introduce excessive 10-year prison sentences for defacing statues
  • restrict Travellers’ rights

 “The powers introduced by the bill represent a significant step away from democracy, likely to have irreversible consequences for the possibility of political opposition in this country – and without political opposition, Parliament as an institution has very little power.” Tribune 16.03.2021

 The new powers to be given to the police will lead to increasing militarisation of our police force, permit police brutality with virtual impunity, and exonerate them from scrutiny or redress

“Sheffield TUC has put its name to the open letter from Sheffield Against the Policing Bill which has been signed by scores of local organisations,” said Martin Mayer, Sheffield TUC Secretary. “We encourage trade union branches to also sign the statement

“The Policing Bill is part of a consistent pattern from this Government to restrict our democratic rights and remove accountability from the state and its security services and the police. The rights and freedoms we enjoy today are the product of struggle and protest -from the mass trespass of Kinder Scout in support of the right to roam, to the miners’ strikes, and the recent Black Lives Matter protests. We will not stand by and see these rights taken away again.”

Sheffield TUC will be supporting the National Day of Action against the Policing Bill on Saturday 3rd April. Plans are under way for a demonstration/rally. A public zoom meeting is being held on Monday 5th April at 1830hrs. Details to follow.

The Policing Bill should not be seen in isolation. It forms part of a consistent Government strategy to increase the powers of the state, limit democratic accountability and restrict our freedoms. The Government has already initiated a raft of legislation to allow state agents to act beyond the law set by Parliament:

Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill gives the security services the power to break criminal law. The Government’s website actually states “…the authorisation of criminal conduct in the course of, or otherwise in connection with, the conduct of covert human intelligence sources.” We know security forces have spied upon trade unions and campaign groups, even illegally having relationships with protestors – so-called “spy cops”. This Bill will even permit rape and murder if deemed to be in the interests of the state. Whose state?

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill The Government’s website says it seeks “derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights in connection with operations of the armed forces outside the British Islands” i.e. to exonerate British armed forces for acts of torture or other illegal acts under international law.

Independent Human Rights Act Review. This Conservative Government and previous ones have frequently stated their objection to the Human Rights Act. The review is looking at how to restrict UK courts reference to the HRA and limit the role of the European Court of Human Rights on UK affairs.

Independent Review of Administrative Law This review aims to restrict the right to seek judicial review of Government acts or decisions or those of any other state authority and so remove or limit judicial scrutiny of Government.


For more information, please contact Martin Mayer Secretary on 0776 1078482

“Workers should join us to stand up for justice, whatever the issues” said Martin Mayer “Join a trade union today!” Any workers who want to discuss how to do this and get help organising should get in touch with Sheffield TUC in the first instance by emailing or sending a message on our Sheffield TUC Facebook Page