Statement on the Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain protest
Officers have been overseeing the demonstration organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain throughout the day (Saturday 21 October) alongside the much larger protest organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
In addition to officers deployed with the protest, we have counter terrorism officers with specialist language skills and subject expertise working alongside public order officers in our main operations room, assessing any video and photos that emerge.
They have reviewed a video from the Hizb ut-Tahrir protest in which a man can be seen to chant ‘jihad, jihad’.
The word has a number of meanings but we know the public will most commonly associate it with terrorism.
Specialist officers have assessed the video and have not identified any offences arising from the specific clip. We have also sought advice from specialist Crown Prosecution Service lawyers who have reached the same conclusion.
However, recognising the way language like this will be interpreted by the public and the divisive impact it will have, officers identified the man involved and spoke to him to discourage any repeat of similar chanting.
We are also aware of photos from the same protest showing signs and banners referring to ‘Muslim armies’.
While there are varying interpretations of what the language on the placards should be interpreted to mean, officers must take decisions based on the wording actually used.
Again, this was subject to a careful assessment and no signs or banners were identified that were unlawful.