Public Protests

I am organising an event to take place on the highway - what do I need to do?

It is your responsibility to ensure that you plan a safe event. Whilst the freedom to hold events, to march and to demonstrate is important; so too is the freedom of people to go about their normal daily business with a minimum of disruption.

If your event includes a procession or march then you are required by law to inform the police. Failure to do so may be a criminal offence. Even where no procession is planned, we recommend that organisers always inform us where large numbers of people are expected to attend an event in a public place.

Once we are aware of your event, we will make a decision about the need for any further police involvement. Even if your event is a protest or demonstration police may not be involved.

Officers will not necessarily attend unless they need to do so in order to fulfil the core police functions of preventing and detecting crime, keeping the peace and protecting life and property.

If your event on the highway means that roads will need to close in part or fully, or the numbers attending your event will have an impact on traffic, then you should consider contacting the local council.   

You may need to apply to the council for a traffic regulation order which will enable roads to be closed or traffic otherwise restricted. There may be a charge for this and, where possible, you should provide the council with as much notice as possible so that they can follow the necessary procedures (minimum notice periods vary between different councils). 

One of the primary concerns of the local council will be the safety of the participants as well as members of the public. As such it is likely that you shall be required to arrange your own traffic management / stewarding through accredited companies that are acceptable to the council.

If you have any questions or queries or would like to register your intention of a public procession please contact the Police Liaison Team Co-Ordinator, PS 173 Nikki Hughes on [email protected] or alternatively on 101.

If your event is due to take place in less than six days please contact 101 and request to speak with the Bronze Inspector who will take some details and arrange for someone to contact you as soon as possible.