HC Deb 01 March 1999 vol 326 cc568-9W
Mr. Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of Merseyside into the incident in which his officers recently intercepted a number of members of Greenpeace at a Cheshire motorway service station. [73398]

Mr. Boateng

I have received a report from Merseyside Police who have informed me of the following:

On Wednesday 17 February, Merseyside Police became aware of the presence of a large group of Greenpeace activists at Hapsford Service Station on the M56 in Cheshire. It was apparent to the police that the members of Greenpeace were intending to demonstrate at Liverpool Docks in order to disrupt commercial trade. After consultation with Cheshire Constabulary, Merseyside Police officers attended and, given the dangers of any potential demonstration, seized a number of dinghies under section 19(3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984; section 3 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and section 12(1) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990. I understand that the seizure was carried out with the co-operation of the demonstrators and the dinghies were placed in a safe location.

The following day, Thursday 18 February, 11 Greenpeace activities were arrested for aggravated trespass under section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 at the Seaforth Dock on Merseyside. Ten people were later charged and will appear at South Sefton Magistrates Court on 25 March.