SOCPA Section 128 Protected Site signs within the SOCPA Section 132 Designated Area


With no publicity or public consultation, or any interest from the mainstream media, and no debate or scrutiny from Members of Parliament, the access of members of the General Public to meet with and lobby and observe their elected Members of Parliament and the unelected Lords has been further reduced as of 1st June 2007.

See our previous blog entry:- Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House now Designated under SOCPA Section 128 - even the previously public areas !

Some perimeter warning signs have now appeared around some of the Designated parts of the Parliamentary Estate. They say:

Trespass on this Site
is a criminal offence.

This is a protected site
under Section 128
of the Serious Organised Crime
and Police Act 2005.

At the Victoria Embankment end of Derby Gate:


N.B. there are no such signs visible at the glass fronted public entrance and lobby to the Committee Rooms in Portcullis House.

At the base of "Big Ben" St. Stephen's Clock Tower on Bridge Street (which has been scaled by demonstrators in the past):


The vast array of black painted spiky railings, black painted concrete barriers, black CCTV surveillance camera "death star" mountings and now these "Protected Site" signs, all just show how paranoid and unfriendly and out of touch with the electorate, Parliament has now become. No wonder politicians are held in such increasing contempt by the public.


Note that Section 128 Offence of trespassing on designated site of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 was amended by Section 12 Trespassing etc. on nuclear sites of the Terrorism Act 2006, which, for some unfathomable reason, decided to replace the word "designated" with "protected" in the text of the clauses (but not in the sub-title of Section 128). This now lumps together military bases , military nuclear, civil nuclear and other designated sites into the category of Protected Sites.

Protected against what, exactly ? Not against terrorists, since many other laws would already apply. Presumably the protection is against otherwise peaceful demonstrators, with the collateral damage side effect, of further restricting the rights of the general public, even when they are not demonstrating or protesting peacefully.

These signs are slightly different to the ones used at the Horseguards end of Downing Street (none visible at the Whitehall end) which include a graphic:


The other Section128 Protected Sites within the Section 132 Designated Area include:

  • The headquarters of the Security Service MI5 at 11 Millbank, which does not display any signs at present

  • The Ministry of Defence has applied to Westminster Council for planning permission for:

    07/03601/LBC Old War Office Whitehall London SW1A 2EU 28/03/2007 Display of 16 non-illuminated signs measuring 0.21m x 0.3m and 0.3m x 0.42m on all frontages at ground floor level.

    However, we have not checked to see if these are on display yet.

  • Similarly we would welcome reports and / or photos of any such signs around the Ministry of Defence Main Building (none are visible along the southern Richmond Passage side of the buildings.

Since there is a statutory "I didn't know it was a protected site, honest" defence in Section 128: and there was a promise by a Government Minster during the debate in Parliament that all such perimeters designated under Section 128 would be adequately sign posted, we expect that some more signs will appear in the near future.


Another step backwards :(

The railings along Victoria Embankment now sport at least 5 Section 128 Warning Notices, but the main glass fronted public entrance to Portcullis House, does not warn the public that they might have just committed a criminal offence by crossing the unmarked boundary.

Neither the Ministry of Defence Main Buildings nor the Old War Office building are displaying any such Notices at all.

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link to

People in Common - weekly Picnics etc. in Parliament Square, every Sunday at about 1pm.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

Campaign for the Freedom of Information

Please help us to find this man! He was arrested(?) in Parliament Square on 1st August 2005

This man was one of the very first people arrested in Parliament Square on 1st August 2005, but he has apparently disappeared.

link to
Silent Protest - a web photo gallery "encouraging people to stage a virtual, government un-sanctioned protest. All you need to do is get a picture of yourself, or your friends, within the protest free zone. Assume the pose (hand over mouth), aim and click."

. - useful background briefings for the Managing Protest around Parliament public consultation, and model letters to MPs etc.

About this blog

This web blog has been set up as an information resource and discussion area (please be polite in the comments) to help organise resistance to the restrictions on peaceful democratic demonstrations and protests, which have been enacted by law, in a wide Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

It appears that in order to remove the peace protester Brian Haw, who has now been demonstrating continuously in Parliament Square, day and night, for over 5 6 years, the NuLabour Government have overreacted, and have granted themselves draconian and arbitrary powers, which affect the rights of all individual British citizens to lobby their Members of Parliament, or to walk in a vast Designated Area wearing a "political slogan" T-shirt, badge, rubber wristband etc. without first seeking prior written permission from the Police.

This is an affront to democracy and is not justified even on any spurious "climate of fear" alleged "security" grounds.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your news, views or suggestions about this blog, and about the issues it highlights.

info @ParliamentProtest [dot] org [dot].uk

For those of you who want to send us information in confidence, here is our PGP Public Encryption Key

A low volume e-mail list (with a daily digest option) has been set up for those of you who /want to share ideas about how the restrictions on demonstrations without prior written permission etc. can be resisted legally and peacefully:


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Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 was rushed through, "on the nod", with minimal debate, during the undemocratic "wash up" process at the end of the last Parliament when the General Election had been called.

The bulk of the Act deals with the setting up of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, but there are also sections such as:

Section 110 Powers of Arrest

From 1st January 2006 this section makes any offence, no matter how minor, into an arrestable offence. Arrests by the police these days can mean taking 10 fingerprints and two palm prints, a DNA tissue sample and processing it into a digital "DNA fingerprint", forcing you to remove any facial coverings, (even those worn for religous purposes) to take photographs of your face etc. All of these items of personal data can then be retained forever, even if you are not charged, or any charges against you are dropped, or if you go to court and are found not guilty.

These new powers are regulated by the new statutory Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) Code of Practice G (.pdf)

Section 128 Trespass on a Designated Site - e.g. Crown Property or National Security

Sections 132 to 138 Demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament - the controversial restrictions in detail.

The Public Whip website has details of how the Members of the House of Commons voted on these controversial clauses.

Designated Area

The current Designated Area is set out in: Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1537 The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Area) Order 2005

Read more about the Designated Area in our category archive.

Write to politicians

Write To Them - identify and contact your local councillors, Members of Parliament, devolved Assembly members and Members of the European Parliament

You can also write to the Home Secretary David Blunkett Charles Clarke John Reid Jacqui Smith

You can send an email public.enquiries@ or a letter to:

Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith MP
Home Secretary
c/o Direct Communications Unit
Home Office
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Home Office Contact Us page

Mass Lone Demonstrations

Comedian Mark Thomas's website has details of Mass Lone Demonstrations which legally show up the absurdity of this law, and the bureaucracy involved in enforcing it. These multiple independent one person demonstrations take place on the third Wednesday of the month, from 5pm - 7.30pm within the Designated Area (often in Parliament Square, but not exclusively so)

Meet on the second Wednesday of each month outside Charing Cross police station (located at Agar Street, London, WC2N 4JP - see the map) any time between: 5.30 pm -7.30pm to hand in your Metropolitan Police SOCPA forms (download the optional Word or PDF forms from the Metroplitan Police) or your own personal Written Applications for Prior Permission.

Regular Protests in Parliament Square

Parliament Square - supporting the long running, 24/7, peace protest by Brian Haw in Parliament Square

Global Women's Strike who held "open mike" loudspeaker protests every Wednesday for over two and a half years, which are now banned.

London Critical Mass - group bicycle ride on the last Friday of every month, for the last 10 years, which often strays into the Designated Area.

The People's Commons Meeting / Tea Party / Picnic-Protest is now meeting every Sunday afternoon starting at 1 for 1.30pm on the Green in Parliament Square. wiki - new website

Website Links

Home Office - "Not fit for purpose. It is inadequate in terms of its scope, it is inadequate in terms of its information technology, leadership, management, systems and processes" - Home Secretary John Reid. 23rd May 2006.

Metropolitan Police Service

Metropolitan Police Authority - meant democratically to supervise the Metropolitan Police Service

Independent Police Complaints Commission

United Kingdom Parliament - Palace of Westminster, House of Lords, House of Commons etc.

Booking Parliament Square - Greater London Authority booking forms, terms and conditions for filming and photography for Parliament Square - "The GLA does not grant permission for demonstration, rallies and public meetings on Parliament Square Gardens".

They Work For You - a more user friendly version of the House of Commons Hansard

Pledgebank pledge:

"I will form part of a human chain around the Westminster no protest zone but only if 6,000 other people will join in."

Repeal-SOCPA-Info has useful briefing material for the Public Consultation into the laws restricting demonstrations, marches and assemblies, sample letters to MPs etc..

Blog Links

Spy Blog - Privacy and Security and Civil liberties campaigning

Mayor of London Blog - unnofficial comments on the Mayor of London and Greater London Assembly

Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol at £1 per litre ! Protest !

Bloggerheads graphics of the 1km zone and the actual Designated Area

Charity Sweet - who has been harrassed for reading a copy of the Independent newspaper outside Downing Street etc.

BBC Travel Jam Cams

BBC Radio London has some links to Traffic Monitoring CCTV cameras, which they publish every 5 or 10 minutes, not usually in real time.

Whenever there is an "incident" or a march or demonstration, these online images are deliverately censored i.e. "not available for operational reasons", This is despite the images being of too low a resolution to identify anybody, and, the effect of not diverting traffic away from the incident, which should be the whole point of the online Traffic Cam images in the first place.

Whitehall / Parliament Square - this camera view sometimes shows Brian Haw's peace camp, and the new GLA fence around Parliament Square Gardens. (now removed, for the time being)

Northumberland Avenue / Victoria Embankment

Trafalgar Square (on the edge of the Designated Area)


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