My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Spied on for Opposing Live Animal Exports

Earlier this year I made a Freedom of Information subject access request to the Metropolitan  Police after I had noticed that police were in the habit of  taking photographs and videos of me and noting  my car registration number whenever I attended demonstrations against live animal exports at Ramsgate. I totally forgot I had made the request, until a couple of weeks ago when an letter from the police arrived through my door. The letter included a print out of  entries from the so-called "domestic extremism database" which showed that for the past 2 years I had been spied on by the police.

The campaign against live animal exports at Ramsgate and now Dover has always been a lawful campaign. Demonstrations have always been peaceful. There has been no damage to property, no violent attacks and no secret conspiracy to break the law. Everything is above board and all  our demonstrations and meetings are openly advertised. So why would the Police wish to spy on myself and, I am sure, many other people from Thanet who are simply exercising their democratic right to speak out and demonstrate against a barbaric and cruel trade? Its interesting to note that one of the entries in the database was about a meeting I organised in Margate in 2012 about Equal Marriage. Equal Marriage is now the law of the land. It was supported by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition so why did the police waste time and money recording the fact that I organised this meeting in  their extremism data base?

In these difficult financial times how much have police spent on this totally unnecessary spying operation on Thanet people who care about animal welfare? I have raised this issue with Anne Barnes and will be contacting the Met Police to have my records destroyed. I am beginning to wonder whether I should I submit another FIO request now that I campaigning against fracking.

Here is a video of meeting on the London Assembly Police Committee where Green Party Assembly Member, Jenny Jones  talks about spying on innocent people, including a mention of  my case.

Here is the police record


  1. It's astonishing that the police have time to monitor a relatively obscure local politician who is guilty of nothing other than doing his job by asking awkward questions about a local issue. I wonder how many such records they are keeping and how many man hours are being spent on this rather pointless form of surveillance. People who are engaged in crime don't usually stand on a soap-box with a megaphone. It's all very peculiar when they don't seem to have the manpower to send someone out when an actual crime has been reported. I guess that's me added to their hit-list too (unless I was already on it).

  2. William Epps becomes more like some character from the Kenny Everett Show by the day: Some animal activists have done something illegal and so, this justifies surveillance on anyone who has opposed live exports. It's a bit like saying: "Some Tories have fiddled their expenses so we'd better keep all of them under surveillance." Or perhaps William would prefer the police to be reactive and only to get involved after the expenses have been fiddled.

    1. 18:55 & 19:02 at least I have the courage to put a name to my opinions. Think about for a bit and tell me where exactly police surveillance should start? After the bomb has gone off perhaps or are you saying, don't watch someone who is just doing his job? Most people are just doing their job before they become extremists of one kind or another, but you can only separate the threats from the peaceful demonstrators by surveillance. By the way, 19:02, it wasn't just Tories who fiddled their expense and most of those locked up for it were Labour.

  3. There's nothing courageous about putting your name to your opinions. There is no physical threat to anybody posting on this or any other blog and so it doesn't require courage to post your name. I'm afraid you're just blustering about how brave you are. As for your naïve arguments about surveillance, under your rules, there would be nothing to prevent England becoming a police state. Why don't you tell us what limits you would set for the powers of the police - or perhaps you see no need for limits or boundaries?

  4. Let's see if William or his alter ego can resist the urge to have the last word.