Crackdown on green terrorists
Thursday 29 December 1994
The crackdown reflects the police's belief that protests against road building and land clearance will continue to escalate. Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Howley, head of Scotland Yard's Special Branch, confirmed that this was a new police priority.
He said: "There are a lot of people concerned about the environment . . . We are primarily concerned about the extremists, those who for example put bombs under cars." He added that two recent examples of environmental activism were protests over the M11link road in east London and Twyford Down, in Hampshire.
The changing emphasis for the Special Branch, which is responsible for gathering intelligence about threats to national security, also reflects the end of IRA violence and the Cold War. They can now spend time on hitherto neglected areas.
Environmentalists argue that the vast majority of their actions are legal and peaceable and that the Branch is merely attempting to justify its existence.
Last month the publication of the Branch's new guidelines revealed that it was to spend more time monitoring public demonstrations and targeting animal rights activists.
The growing concern over "eco terrorists" follows the proliferation of environmental groups. There are now more than 140 local anti-roads groups.
Nationally organisations such as the Environmental Liberation Front and Green Anarchist have been credited with using booby traps to disrupt work at several motorway sites. The Freedom Network, a rainbow alliance of environmental groups, has helped uniteopposition against the Criminal Justice Bill.
Despite the IRA ceasefire, counter terrorism will remain the main focus of the Branch's work until peace is established.
Leading article, page 13
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...