May Day Demonstration

12 June 2001

Liberty has written to the Metropolitan Police threatening legal action on behalf of hundreds of people unlawfully detained by the police.

In a letter release today Liberty has written to the Metropolitan Police and the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority setting out the law and requesting an explanation and apology.

Liberty has been approached by hundreds of individuals who were detained on 1 May 2001 at Oxford Circus between about 2.00pm to 9.00pm, and earlier at Euston, as part of the well-publicised police operation to contain 'protestors'.

John Wadham, solicitor and Director of Liberty said today:

"Liberty is very concerned about the legality of this operation and we are currently considering whether legal action is appropriate, either by way of an application for judicial review or by way of private proceedings for false imprisonment and breach of the Human Rights Act 1998. However, we are anxious to avoid unnecessary legal action and, for that reason, we have invited the police to provide us with their explanation. In the absence of an adequate explanation of the legal basis of these actions and an apology we will have to advise our own clients and those of all the other solicitors instructed to seek their remedies in the courts."
John Wadham, Solicitor

21 Tabard Street
London SE1 4LA