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Stop New Nuclear police liaison meeting on Sunday, 30 September 2012, 11:00am-12:30pm, Cafe at John Lewis at home, Swindon

Present: Bruce Turnbull (Avon & Somerset police), Craig Kirk (Avon & Somerset police), Andreas Speck (Stop New Nuclear), Camilla Berens (Stop New Nuclear)

Craig began the meeting by expressing his condolences about the sudden death of Crispin Aubrey of Stop Hinkley (see http://stophinkley.org/PressReleases/pr120929.htm). He assumed the protests would still go ahead, which we confirmed.

We first talked about the march in Bridgwater on 6 October. He handed us a map based on Google Earth, which had the route of the march as communicated to the police by Crispin marked.

PoliceLiaison-30092012-03-lowres.png

Assemble in King Square 11.30, march starts 12.30pm
Exit King Square through York Buildings, turn right up High Street towards Penel Orlieu.
Turn right at roundabout into Mount Street (passing cinema on left), follow Mount Street round to “Splash” car park.
Turn right into pedestrian passage with Angel Crescent entrance on right, follow passage turning left past
Nutmeg cafe.
Continue along Clare Street, King’s Place and Queen Street, eventually turning right at Court Street (towards Fore Street).
At Fore Street turn right (away from the river) and continue up Fore Street to Blake Statue, where march will end.

Sedgemoor Council have agreed the location of a small stage for speakers at the Blake Statue (facing down towards the river) where a rally will take place from about 1.30 to 3.30pm, when the event will end.

Craig asked about stewarding for the march, and we confirmed that we/Stop Hinkley will steward the march ourselves. The police suggested 6-8 stewards if the march is around the same size as before. Two at the front, two at the back and two/four either side in the middle.

We passed on the information regarding drop-off and parking of the coaches, with the request to the police to cordon off the spaces we want to use. We did not receive an immediate answer about the request.

We then moved on to the die-in in front of Hinkley Point A+B. Craig again had a map, based on Google Earth.

PoliceLiaison-30092012-02-lowres.png

He explained that temporary traffic lights will be installed near the Doggets, and that on Saturday one lane will be closed off for traffic, so that there is a safe lane for pedestrians.

We explained our traffic management plan, and other requirements:
- we want to set up Thunderbox toilets in the lay-by closer to the gate, which on the map is marked “Limited disabled parking Saturday only”. This lay-by would also be used as a drop-off point for our shuttle minibuses, as they are able to turn around here. The die-in itself will take place in front of the main gate of Hinkley Point A+B.

We explained that we will discourage people to use their own vehicles for transport, and will focus on our shuttles and the coaches. Coaches will drop-off people in lay-bys along the C182, and stay there. Our minibus shuttles will the ferry people from the coaches to the die-in.

Asked whether we wanted to bring in a sound system, we answered that we do no longer plan to do this, but will limit ourselves to megaphones for communication with the participants.

We asked about their plans for a section 14 order, as they mentioned this possibility during the last police liaison meeting on 31 August 2012 (see http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/node/399). The answer was that at the present stage the police does not envision to use a section 14 order, neither on Saturday, nor on Monday.

On Saturday, the main gate of Hinkley Point A+B will be closed from about 3:30pm to 5:30/6:00pm, and EdF has informed their workers that there will be no access to the power station during that time. This means there should be no works traffic (Hinkley Point B is presently shut down for maintenance, which means generally increased work traffic). For both Saturday and Monday, coaches must be parked in the lay-bys south of the Doggets crossroads as this is the last place that is big enough for them to turn around.

We confirmed that we plan to end the event and shuttle people out of the area before it gets dark (which is at about 6:30pm).

For the Monday, the road will be closed to all non-authorised traffic from the Doggets on. The only exceptions will be disabled vehicles and media vehicles. We have agreement that media vehicles with a lot of equipment will be able to park at the layby just south of the new access road to the C site. The rest will be able to park up at the lay-by further up where the Portapoo loos will be. This means drop-off of participants in the legal action (bearing witness) will need to be at the Doggets. The assembly point for the legal rally/bearing witness is the newly constructed entrance to the Hinkley Point C site, and there is an about 10m wide space off the road, with space both to the left and right. Our toilets would still be in the lay-by close to the gate of Hinkley Point A+B, and it is possible to walk on a public right of way parallel to the fence, but not on the road, and then cross over to the toilets, which would mean people would not need to walk along the road (there will be works traffic).

The police said that the workers going to the site were worried about being harassed by protesters. We made it clear that the workers weren't a target and that we would like to give them leaflets explaining what we were doing. This could easiest be done at the temporary traffic lights.

There will be police around, including police on horses, to observe what is going on, and to intervene in case criminal offences would be committed.

We raised our concern that private security (G4S) might overstep their legal boundaries, and requested that they be reminded of their limits, and that police also intervene if they observe private security overstepping their limits.
The police replied that G4S is also concerned about what participants in the trespass might be up to.

We stressed that the training will include issues of respect for police and including private security, as this is a nonviolent action. Bruce mentioned that there were no major issues during the last protests between protesters and police or private security, and expressed his hope that this will remain so.

Craig pointed out a few safety related issues:

PoliceLiaison-30092012-01-lowres.png1. On the site are some contaminated areas, which will be fenced in and clearly marked (see picture).

We pointed out that we too are very concerned about the health and safety of everyone participating in the action, including the trespass, and that we will make people aware of the contamination sites. We explained that some people might attempt to take earth samples on the site, which we can then send it for analysing, as we are aware that also contamination with depleted uranium has been found on the site.

2. The footpath along the coast past the Hinkley Point site is now closed and diverted. The beach is dangerous to walk on, as there are quicksands and possibly high tides, and the current of the outflow from the site is extremely strong.

3. Craig asked about the catapult mentioned in some of the publicity, as this could be seen as an offensive weapon, which could be used to aim at police and security.

We explained that this is not the aim, and that nothing has been built yet. It would be more like a toy for kids than like a medieval catapult.

With regard to the trespass, the police said that work would continue during the Monday and so there is a possibility that protesters could be arrested for aggravated trespass, if they obstruct a lawful activity (work going on on the site).

The Camp

We had some discussion regarding police access to the camp, as there has been an incident last October with police driving onto the camp site, which could easily have led to an escalation (see http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/node/230).

We agreed that there shouldn't be a need for police to enter the camp, and that any communication should be via Bruce to our police liaison team.

Craig raised the issue that a police officer might stray onto the camp, not knowing that it is the camp. We replied that then our police liaison hopes to deal with this swiftly, and should it be a local police officer, it is also likely that local activists would recognise him/her. In any case, contact should always be made via our police liaison team.

Police shifts:

Saturday: officer in charge: Rob Millican
protester liaison team: Bruce Turnbull and Debbie Edwards

Monday morning: officer in charge: Yann Georgiou
protester liaison team: Bruce Turnbull and Sonny Walker
Monday afternoon: officer in charge: Rob Millican
protester liaison team: to be confirmed

At the end of the meeting, we exchanged contact numbers.

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