September 26, 2008
A police force has offered £40,000 in compensation to animal rights campaigners, including supporters of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), after they were prevented from joining a protest against livestock exports.
The group of London-based protesters, representing several animal rights groups, accused Kent police of heavy-handed tactics after their coach was stopped as it entered Dover in July 2006 en route to a demonstration against the shipping of sheep and cattle to the Continent.
The campaigners, who included a disabled boy and several elderly people, claimed they were threatened with arrest after leaving the vehicle to plead their case with police. They were photographed before being escorted back to London by two police cars and two motorcycles.
Now lawyers for Kent police have offered each of the 32 protesters £1,250 in an out-of-court settlement following a claim brought against the force alleging that the group was unlawfully denied the right to protest. The case was brought by the law firm Irwin Mitchell, which has brought several previous prominent human rights cases, including the provision of the breast cancer drug Herceptin to NHS patients.