Police powers and politics
Police and Home Office responses
in The National Council for Civil Liberties and the policing of interwar politics
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As the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) had warned, the legislation introduced to put a stop to provocative fascist uniforms and militaristic methods gave the police wide powers to interfere with the activities of the left. From the latter part of 1936, Oswald Mosley targeted the East End of London with an anti-Jewish campaign, intentionally playing on the volatile racial tensions in the region to rouse support for the British Union of Fascists (BUF). The outright prohibition on all political processions within a specified area of East London was imposed under section 3[3] of the Public Order Act. This required the approval of the Home Secretary. The Commissioner had a much finer line to tread between the robust policing of political protest and accusations of police bias and brutality.


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