Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Feel Free to Annoy Me


New campaign launched today -
"Feel free to annoy me!"

Simon Calvert writes:-
Reform Section 5 is transforming into Reform Clause 1.
The same team who campaigned for the right to be insulted is
now campaigning for the right to be annoyed!

The new Anti-social Behaviour Bill plans to replace ASBOs
with IPNAs: Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance or Annoyance.
The name alone should be enough to make any sensible person
run a mile.

Admittedly, you cannot be arrested or jailed just for being
annoying. The police or local authority must first apply to
a court. But if a court grants an IPNA against you, and you
breach it, you can be subject to contempt of court

The "nuisance or annoyance" test is borrowed from other
areas of law where it is much more tightly constrained.
Applying it to the public square will be disastrous. It
doesn't take much imagination to predict how it could be
used against protesters and other inconvenient

We are hoping for a vote in the House of Lords to try to
tone down anti-annoyance orders. We'll let you know more in
due course.

According to rumours, the change to Public Order law that
you helped win should come into force in January 2014.

The Crime and Courts Act became law in April. Thanks to
RS5ers like you, Section 57 of that Act removes "insulting
words" from the scope of Section 5.

It won't come into force until new guidance for police has
been finalised. RS5 was invited to review the guidance and
we secured useful improvements highlighting free speech.

Still, we are frustrated with the delay in bringing the
reform into force. You might like to encourage your MP to
co-sign this Early Day Motion (a kind of petition of MPs)
calling on the Home Office to get on with it:

In the meantime,
- Visit to read more about the campaign.

- Follow the campaign on Facebook
( and Twitter
( and  let people know using

The next email you receive from us will come from Make sure you add us to your address
book to stop spam filters. If you no longer want to receive
any emails from us, please opt out by emailing with the subject "Opt me out from Reform
Clause 1".

Yours annoyingly,

Simon Calvert,
Campaign Director,
Reform Section 5
83 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0HW

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