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Home Deal News Article
The Green Party claims the police have been spying on a councillor involved in anti-live export campaigns.
Thanet Cllr Ian Driver has been campaigning and protesting against the export of live animals at Ramsgate and Dover ports.
The accusations that the Metropolitan Police have been spying on him comes after a Freedom of Information request revealed 22 police records relating to his activities.
Cllr Driver said: “There was a page and half of database entries taken from what I believe is commonly known as the Domestic Extremism Database, which is held by the Metropolitan Police.
“All of the activities I have engaged in during the campaign against live animal exports from Ramsgate and Dover have been perfectly legal and above board.
“I simply can’t believe that hard-pressed police forces would waste time and money spying on me simply because I have exercised my democratic rights to peacefully protest and speak out against a brutal and barbaric trade.”
Cllr Driver is working to stop the transport of live animals to other countries for slaughter, which the campaign says is unnecessary, as well as taking issue with the inhumane conditions in which the animals are transported.
“I simply can’t believe that hard-pressed police forces would waste time and money spying on me." Ian Driver
There are ongoing protests at Dover docks on this issue – and the Green Party is now calling for the police to delete their records on Cllr Driver.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Clearly, the majority of people involved in animal rights, environmentalism and other campaigns are peaceful protesters and never considered extremist.
“The term only applies to individuals or groups whose activities go outside the normal democratic process and engage in crime and disorder in order to further their campaign.
“Extremists may operate independently but will sometimes try to mask their activities by associating closely with legitimate campaigners.
“The police work hard to ensure that the majority of protesters can campaign peacefully while stopping the few individuals who break the law.”
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