Assessing the challenge of policing animal rights extremism in the UK and the changing impact on community safety and human rights in the period 2004-2010

Mills, Gordon Roy (2012) Assessing the challenge of policing animal rights extremism in the UK and the changing impact on community safety and human rights in the period 2004-2010. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

This thesis explores animal rights activism and associated extremism between the period 2004 - 2010 in the UK and proposes that this post 2004 period witnessed a new era in animal rights extremism comparable to the strategic change seen in 'new terrorism'. It argues that following the successful targeting of major pharmaceutical companies leading up to 2004, by animal rights campaigners deploying a variety of effective tactics based primarily on intimidation and harassment - the government, the police and the targeted industries, robustly responded in a coordinated strategic approach to reduce animal rights crimes. However, the success of this initiative has had far reaching implications for human rights and the ability of people to protest in a democratic society. The operational success has also led to more sophisticated tactics being used by extremists and a displacement abroad to 'softer' targets. This perversely orchestrated even more restrictive laws being passed to curb extremist incidents that were only carried out by a small minority within the animal rights movement. Evidence to support this argument is provided by a balanced quantitative and qualitative approach, utilizing questionnaires sent to dedicated specialists dealing with domestic extremism (of which animal rights extremism is included) in the UK; interviews with key personnel within the police and industry responsible for policing animal rights extremism and providing security; and a comprehensive analysis of incident data. The results show that animal rights activism and linked extremism has been effectively brought under control but collectively 'protest law' has been altered. In some cases the law has been abused and applied disproportionately by the State, thereby fundamentally affecting freedom of assembly and free expression for all UK citizens.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.590115
Uncontrolled Keywords: animal rights activism; animal rights extremism; 'new terrorism'; major pharmaceutical companies; human rights; ability of people to protest; restrictive laws; freedom of assembly; free expression
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Chiara Repetto
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2022 10:31
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2022 10:34
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/7474

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