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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 14:14 GMT
Parliament protests have doubled
Brian Haw outside court
Mr Haw has resisted attempts to remove him
Demonstrations outside Westminster have doubled since curbs were introduced, according to police figures.

Some 1,163 protests have taken place since new laws came into force in August 2005, compared with 640 over a similar period beforehand.

The Green Party said the figures showed the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act did not work and was a waste of police resources.

The Home Office said the aim of the act is to boost security around Parliament.

Bogged down

The Green Party's call comes as peace activist Brian Haw marked 2,000 days of his continuous anti-war vigil in Parliament Square.

Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said it was time to scrap the act.

"These laws clearly haven't worked," she said.

"Other protesters are still turning up spontaneously and illegally.

"The police are bogged down with hundreds of individual forms for both satirical and real protests."

She said she wanted to avoid a situation where police spent too much time on public order and not enough on serving and protecting their communities.

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 states anyone wanting to demonstrate in a half-mile zone in central London must seek permission from the police.

A Home Office spokesman said the act was not about denying the right to protest.

"There is, of course, a balance to be struck between protecting the rights of those working around Parliament and the rights of protesters."




SEE ALSO
Protester wins megaphone battle
08 Jun 06 |  London
Peace protest enters third year
01 Jun 03 |  London

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