We’re answering your questions on your rights and the policing of mobilisations in Glasgow during COP26 – on the ground, on social media and on email.
We also have a longer document of questions asked in our Know Your Rights training sessions.
To make it easier to access this information quickly, here are some common questions we get asked:
What to do if one is arrested?
No comment You only have to give your name, address, date of birth & nationality to the police if you are suspected of committing or witnessing a crime, or are driving a vehicle. Say “No Comment” to all other police interactions
No Duty Solicitor Do not accept the duty solicitor. Instead ask for Clare Ryan: 07977 000 312. You have the right to have someone informed of your arrest. Make that the SCALP Legal Back Office 0131 322 5322.
Hopefully you’ll have a bustcard, with these numbers and some key legal information.
What legal support is in place for COP26 mobilisations?
SCALP is providing 27/7 legal support for the duration of COP, including Legal Observers, Legal Back Office and Police Station Support. More information and full details of the COP26 supports.
What is the number on Signal to request Legal Observers for an action?
+44 773 405 1230
What is the law about marches?
Under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, Section 62 you are required to notify the relevant Council about a procession with 28 days notice. Organising a march without notice is an offence, as is being part of one and refusing to desist when required to do so by a constable. Technically police could arrest everyone who is part of an unauthorised procession OR take everyone’s details.
This doesn’t always happen, and we have seen cases where the march is allowed to happen unrestricted, stewards are targeted as ‘organisers’ and questioned or had their details taken, or police try to control where the march travels.
What should I do if I am followed by police or I think they are overstepping their powers?
If you are subject to or witness any police behaviour which you are concerned about, try and stay calm, take shoulder numbers of police (and what force they are from), ask them ‘Under what power’ they are operating, and write that down. Remember ‘No Comment’ and if you are with a friend, stick together. Soon after, write an account of what happened, which can be useful for later submitting a complaint. Let SCALP and NetPol know: email@example.com & COP26Policing@protonmail.com.
Any interactions with the police can be stressful and traumatic, take care of one another and check in with someone you trust during and after any incident.
For more in-depth information from SCALP see our Resources page and the following guides: