Supplementary memorandum submitted by
Dr Peter Harbour
In evidence statement , 15 December 2008,
I described my experience with an injunction (Radley Lakes injunction
by RWE npower) served, using the Protection from Harassment Act
1997. This injunction stifled legitimate protest.
I suggested there should be a first hearing,
either with the police or with a lower court, before a case under
the PfH act 1997 be brought to the High Court. The aim was
to avoid, in the first instance, the crippling cost (or fear of
costs) which prevent justice from being done at present. The injunction
was heard in secret, without notification, using anonymous witnesses.
The Committee's response was 
we are concerned that the Protection
from Harassment Act 1997 (
not designed to deal with
) has the potential for overbroad and disproportionate
application. We do not consider that
there is any pressing
need for applications against protestors to be made without providing
the possibility for protestors to make representations on the
given the potential risk
of substantial costs
100. We recommend that
for injunctions relating to protest activities may not be made
without notice being given to any individuals or organisations
named on the application
ensuring that injunctions against
protestors are necessary and proportionate within the context
of the rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.
While the Committee's recommendations, if adopted
by the government, reduce problems of legitimate protestors, they
do not go far enough. Interestingly, however, they open a way
in law to make it clear that there is a legal distinction between
protestors and stalkers. The PfH Act 1997 was designed to
deal with stalkers, not protestors. I will argue that the Act
should be redrafted to focus on its original purpose.
Protestors should, if necessary, be dealt with
under other existing laws, which are restrictive enough. Violent
and intimidatory protest contravenes several laws, so it is doubtful
whether the PfH Act 1997 is needed at all to control protest.
Even so, companies use the act to stifle legitimate protest.
During the six months since my memorandum 
a number of events has taken place, strengthening this argument.
2. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
17:12:2008: Power company, RWE npower
announced it no longer needs Thrupp Lake for ash disposal.
The lake is saved, due to adoption of an alternative, sought by
the Save Radley Lakes campaign, an endorsement of a legitimate
campaign, if ever there was one.
23:12:2008: George Monbiot examines
claims by NETCU (see ) that I am a domestic extremist, concluding
the police demonise peaceful protest .
23:12:2008: NETCU website is "closed
for maintenance until the New Year." It re-opened 22nd May,
13:1:2009: RWE npower injunction
is ended. A consent order is sealed by the Court. The proceedings
against me have ended. The injunction is discharged.
13:2:2009: Monbiot confirms NETCU's
website shut down immediately after  was published, later being
partially restored. The "Confidential Intelligence Unit"
will continue NETCU's role, demonising peaceful protest .
7:5:2009: BBC Radio 4 describes
my story . Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell claims
that although my name is on the NETCU website it doesn't necessarily
mean I am considered a domestic extremist. "I could understand
the concern about someone having their name there but I don't
think their character would be tarnished because of it" (but
see contradiction in next item). Note: BBC Panorama will follow
this up later in June.
22:5:2009: NETCU website restored,
now featuring the police pocket guide  referred to in .
The booklet retains the sentence, p.51, "High Court Injunctions
that relate to domestic extremism campaigns are listed on the
NETCU website. www.netcu.org.uk",
which had been identified [1,3] as branding me and the Save Radley
Lakes campaign as "domestic extremist".
3. FURTHER DETAILS
When I submitted my evidence  the injunction
upon me was still in place but negotiations were underway to end
it. I was inhibited from making any statement which might have
I can now state that it was (without notification)
alleged in the High Court by anonymous absent witnesses, who were
allowed by the court to remain anonymous, that I assaulted a security
guard by driving my van into him, a criminal accusation of an
event alleged to have taken place at half past midnight. I assert
that this did not happen. At 12.30am I had been at my computer
for over an hour sending emails and I continued at my computer
for the next hour. There is detailed documentation that the allegation
was incorrect, and a credible witness supports this. Notwithstanding,
this allegation was not merely made when the injunction was first
brought to court in February 2007, but in April 2007 the
evidence was relayed uncritically (from npower's security staff)
to the Court by a Chief Inspector of Thames Valley Police, Silver
Commander for the Radley Lakes protest . His action was justified
by TVP's Chief Constable, (letter dated 21.05.07):
The judgement states 'there is reason
to believe drove his car (sic) at two employees of the
First Claimant's contractors
She went on to write
"In relation to the deposition by Chief
Inspector (name given) in relation to this incident, its affect
on the application was merely to confirm that this incident, along
with a number of others, had been reported to the police
But please read a contradictory statement in
The chief constable continued
"In terms of redress for Peter Harbour,
paragraph 10 of the application submitted by Npower states
that 'The parties and any other person affected by this Order
may apply to the Court at any time to vary or discharge this Order
This would appear to offer a way forward for Peter, in terms of
taking steps to negotiate his removal from the injunction."
4. SUMMARY OF
In a civil court I was accused, without
notification, and anonymously, of a criminal assault, which did
not occur, using my vehicle.
The PfH Act 1997 allows an accusation
to be so made, and this is wrong, bringing the law into disrepute.
Senior police endorse the accusation,
despite official records showing no evidence that such an event
occurred, and despite the duty of the Silver Commander to provide
impartial policing and to facilitate normal protest.
The Chief Constable appears content with
this, not querying lack of balance in policing.
In fact the Chief Constable compounded the situation,
saying there was a way forward for me to take steps to remove
myself from the injunction. I say this because she seems blissfully
unaware that, had I moved to contest the evidence, this would
have triggered my being exposed to fearsome costs and that these
costs might be at a multiple because several of the defendants
were applying for legal aid .
Under the PfH Act 1997 it is demonstrated
that an injunction can be obtained, stifling legitimate protest,
on the basis (inter alia) of an incorrect criminal accusation,
and that the police, in court, can support such an accusation
by hearsay, despite it contradicting their official records, and
without investigating the facts of the case. Police action can
further compound the situation by branding the protestors "domestic
extremists", in a manner which on the face of it appears
This committee has distinguished protestors
from stalkers, the intended subject of the PfH Act 1997, and this
prepares for the following way forward.
The Act should be retained exclusively
for dealing with stalkers and be redrafted so it cannot be used
(or misused) against protestors, whose actions can be scrutinised
in the light of other laws.
Policing of protest appears to have been
neither balanced, nor proportionate.
 Memorandum submitted by Dr Peter Harbour,
 Paragraphs 96-100 of www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200809/jtselect/jtrights/47/4707.htm£n165
. See also Henry Porter in www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/henryporter/2009/feb/10/police-civil-liberties
 The Report, BBC Radio 4, 8 pm 07.05.09,
The Policing of Protest www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00k4g57
 I reported in  that the first duty of
this Silver Commander was "to provide impartial policing
services that facilitate lawful protest", and yet in April
2007 he had provided no service to the Save Radley Lakes
group at all, not even introducing himself. I ask the committee
to decide whether the service was "impartial" or whether
he appeared to be acting for a large company.
 I received a letter from Thames Valley Police
Accident Records (2.04.07) stating "A search of police accident
records has failed to trace the collision to which you refer
the dates 10 February-12 February 2007."
 I recollect that, before granting legal aid,
the board asked (unsuccessfully) the Save Radley Lakes campaign
to pay costs of those seeking support, even though the other defendants
(excluding me) did not live locally and were not members of the