Remove 40 days for life from QMC
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An open letter to:
Peter Homa (NUH Chief Executive)
Paddy Tipping (Police and Crime Comissioner)
Jon Collins (Leader of Nottingham City Council)
Despite numerous complaints from hospital staff, trade unions and members of the public, nothing has been done to remove the 40 days for life vigil, which is harassing staff and service users as part of its continued trespass on trust property
It has become clear that NUH Trust, Nottinghamshire Constabulary and Nottingham City Council are failing in their duties to allow women access to reproductive healthcare free from harassment and intimidation.
It is also clear that the above authorities are paying mere lip service to the complainants and refusing to deal with the issue in any concrete way, this is particularly apparent when the number of tools at their disposal are considered:
Included amongst the available tools would be:
The common law right to remove trespassers
Reasonable force can be used to remove a trespasser, who, upon being asked refuses to leave. The police may be asked to attend to ensure that a breach of the peace is not committed
An Injunction against the trespassers
This could be obtained very quickly as evidenced by the actions of the City Council regarding homeless encampments detailed elsewhere in this letter.
Aggravated Trespass (Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s69(1))
When a senior police officer reasonably believes that: two or more persons are trespassing on land and are present there with the common purpose of intimidating persons so as to deter them from engaging in a lawful activity or of obstructing or disrupting a lawful activity
He may direct that person or (as the case may be) those persons (or any of them) to leave the land.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gives the police powers in designated areas to disperse groups of two or more where their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in a member of the public being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed.
Note: A PCSO also has these powers
Public Space Protection Orders
The City Council has wide powers to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in an area. The behaviour must be having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the community, it must be persistent or continuing and it must be unreasonable.
In the past, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Constabulary have had very little reticence in deploying this full array of powers against a diverse range of citizens, most notably:
Notts Uncut Protests 2012
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s69(1) Used repeatedly to remove protesters
Operation Hooper June 2015
Officers from several police forces combined in a joint operation to assist bailiffs in evicting an elderly couple from the family home.
OpGround0 January 2016
An injunction was obtained to evict a homeless encampment from a Nottingham City street. Total time taken to obtain injunction was less than 72 hours
Notts Casual Infidels June 2016
Forced containment and dispersal of peaceful anti fascist protesters
Merchant Street PSPO 2016
An order banning among other things, ball games, spitting and congregating in groups of more than two people
If it is reasonable to use these powers against tax justice activists, elderly families, homeless people, antifascists and kids playing ball, it is entirely reasonable to also use them against a small group of trespassers who are intimidating vulnerable women.
We the undersigned consider that this selective use of powers is unacceptable and demand that all possible action is taken as quickly as possible to remove 40 days for life from the hospital campus and allow women proper access to reproductive healthcare
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