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Demonstrations, Protests and Marches:
Advance Notice to Police

Demonstrations, protests and marches are referred to as ‘public processions’ in law.

The Crimes Act 2011, provides that a written notice must be delivered to a police station by hand not less than 6 days before the date when the procession is intended to be held.

As an organiser, the police will need to know when it is intended to:

  • demonstrate support for or opposition to the views or actions of any person or body of persons
  • publicise a cause or campaign
  • mark or commemorate an event

What we need to know:

  • date and time of the procession
  • proposed route
  • the names and addresses of the organisers

We have the power to:

  • set conditions to the route of the procession
  • set any other condition of the procession

If you arrange a procession at short notice, you must still tell the police as soon as you can.

We can also:

  • change the location
  • limit its length of time
  • limit the amount of people who attend
  • stop a sit-down protest if it obstructs road traffic or public highway

Assemblies

There is no need to inform the police about an assembly. The law however, prevents assemblies where no permission has been given by the occupier of the land. 

This guidance does not represent legal advice. If you are unsure about your obligations to provide advance notice, rights or conditions in a given event, you should take independent legal advice or refer to the legislation.