The blocking of Bridleway 250 overnight is still making waves but the issue is
getting quite complicated. Let me see if I can summarise it.
A Form One, which is the formal request to unblock the highway was submitted to Bexley council and they refused to take action. They said that a police sergeant approved of the closure under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1988 which places an obligation on councils to do all that they reasonably can to prevent crime and disorder.
However that Act begins with a paragraph which says it in no way overrules other legislation. eg. the Highways Act, but Bexley council, and so they claim, the police too, chose to disregard that.
So far the police are refusing to talk about it and claim they destroyed the minutes relating to their meeting with the council.
Form Four has been served on Bexley council announcing the intention to take the case to the Magistrates’ Court.
Meanwhile, Mr. Barnbrook believed it appropriate to ask the Crime and Disorder Committee at their last meeting if the decision to abuse Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act had been scrutinised by them. He was refused permission by council officer Kevin Fox to ask the question.
Mr. Barnbrook has therefore taken guidance from Section 19(4) of the Police and Justice Act 2006 under which if a member of a local authority operating executive arrangements (Kevin Fox) declines to refer a matter to the Crime and Disorder Panel, the person who asked him to consider it may refer the matter to the executive of that authority.
The necessary reference to Mr. Tuckley has now been made and his response is awaited.