THE UK Government is set to announce a range of new proposals to clamp down on protests, broadening the range of situations in which police can take action to prevent disruption.

Major protests in recent years have focused on a range of issues, including environmental issues.  

In November, for example, Just Stop Oil protesters blocked the M25 with supporters climbing onto overhead gantries.

The law would only apply south of the Border although many Scots often travel to take part in demonstrations. 

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The Government passed legislation in 2022 in a bid to allow police to have more power to stop disturbance but is planning to go further with a new set of laws known as the Public Order Bill.

The bill was published last year and is currently in the final stages of debate in parliament.

Criticism has come from civil rights groups who believe it is anti-democratic and gives the police too much power.

The UK Government wants to amend the Public Order Bill before it becomes law in order to broaden the legal definition of “serious disruption”, give police more flexibility and provide legal clarity on when the new powers could be used.

Sunak said in a statement on Sunday: “The right to protest is a fundamental principle of our democracy, but this is not absolute.

“We cannot have protests conducted by a small minority disrupting the lives of the ordinary public.

“It’s not acceptable and we’re going to bring it to an end.”

The Government says that the new laws, if passed, would mean police are able to shut down disruptive protests pre-emptively.

The bill already includes the creation of a criminal offence for anyone who seeks to lock themselves onto objects or buildings, and allows courts to restrict the freedoms of some protesters to prevent them causing serious disruption.

It builds on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, passed in April 2022, which sparked several large “kill the bill” protests.