Liberty blog: Police drop sanction criminalising poverty after Liberty challenge

The Metropolitan Police has revoked sanctions against a woman in North London after Liberty, acting on her behalf, successfully challenged the measures which would have criminalised her for activities such as begging.

Remarking on the Met’s revocation of the notice, District Judge Laws, stated that “Clearly these are draconian provisions which must be applied with a degree of humanity and proportionality. The Respondent will no doubt think carefully before imposing another notice in similar terms, which seem to me rather lurid and wide ranging.”

The woman, who is in her forties, was prosecuted after the Metropolitan Police accused her of breaching a Community Protection Notice (CPN) – which Liberty say should never have been issued in the first place.

Liberty’s client was handed a CPN by a Metropolitan Police Officer on 11 October 2021. CPNs prohibit individuals from engaging in certain behaviour, including even going into a shop “without a valid reason”. Liberty has warned that CPNs are often used to criminalise poverty.

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