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Fitwatch Press Release on AR raids

Fitwatch | 11.11.2009 10:32 | Animal Liberation | Policing | Repression


Following a damning series of articles in The Guardian, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), and their sister organisation the National Domestic Extremist Team (NDET) are attempting to justify their existence by raiding and arresting four animal rights activists for conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

NETCU and NDET are run by Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Denis O'Connor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, will next month release the findings of his national review of policing of protests and has already signalled he anticipates wide scale change. His inspectors are considering a complete overhaul of the ACPO units, which they have been told lack statutory accountability.

Wearing balaclavas, police officers from four different forces carried out the raids yesterday, smashing through doors and spending over ten hours searching two houses. Witnesses to one of the raids described the police as “intimidating” and “threatening”.

Lynn Sawyer - a resident of one of the houses - who was not arrested stated “This was a massive fishing expedition to promote NETCU’s facade of effectiveness whilst attempting to stop protest through pure terrorisation.”

Apart from computers and mobile phones, the police were also interested in financial documents, evidence of travel and association in support of animal rights extremism. Evidence of such extremism included banners, leaflets and a poster from VIVA, a well respected vegetarian/vegan organisation.

Fitwatch activist Emily Apple stated that “This was an entirely disproportionate policing operation undertaken by an increasingly desperate unit. The threatening nature of these raids and using items such as NGO posters and leaflets as evidence of extremism demonstrate NDET’s dubious definition of domestic extremism and their willingness to intimidate protesters and criminalise dissent.”


Notes for Editors:
1. More information on The Guardian’s investigation -
2. A third ACPO unit dealing with domestic extremism, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, is also being investigated.
3. The term “domestic extremism” does not have a legal definition and has been invented by these units.
4. VIVA are supported by a wide range of people including Joanna Lumley, Michael Mansfield QC and Sir Paul McCartney.

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Hide the following 7 comments

NETCU suck

11.11.2009 11:09

NETCU are a reminder of the SS in Nazi Germany or the KGB. George Orwell was right. The thought police are here!!! I hope their mums are proud...........get a real job!!!


Not fit for purpose

11.11.2009 11:50

The police nabbed a Viva poster on the grounds of national extremism? Goodness, you'd better inform them of their terrorist related activities because I'm sure they're currently unaware that they're promoting extremism.

I don't normally advocated writing to media rags but with the recent articles on NETCU the Guardian might be interested in these raids as further evidence of police bodies overstepping the line and practising their own form of terrorism and extremism. Also don't forget to lodge a complaint with the IPCC, even thought they're utterly useless most of the time sometimes they manage to get it together.

A friendly vegan

Netcu, Gestapo, same thing

11.11.2009 12:34

Surely there can be little doubt that the NETCU wing of the police force are nothing more than the political police.

The Guardian article has confirmed what many people have known for a long time, that Netcu are the Stasi/Gestapo of Britain. They spend their time investigating LAWFULL and legal campaigners, not something that an ordinary Police Officer would be proud of.

If they were really concerned about domestic extremism, then they would be looking into Islamic extrimists and so on, but they can't because they know that MI5 do it so much better than they can, hence the pathetic raids of leafleters to justify their existance.

General Public

A colleagues loose mouth ...

11.11.2009 14:55

A copper from CO19 who has prevously worked alongside NDET has recently bee suspeded after he took pictures of himself with his gun and posted them on a dating site and also discussed details of police operations on the the internet! No wonder MI5 don't trust these idiots/wannabe spies.



12.11.2009 07:07

The 'suspended copper' story appeared in the Daily Mail (and other tabloids) on 10 November - here's the link:

But there is no reference to NDET. He just appears to be an ordinary Met copper who, by his own admission, is 'very dominant'.


not an ordinary copper

12.11.2009 10:26

CO19 is certainly not 'just an ordinary copper'. Also just because the Mail doesn't say something doesn't make it not true....


Any statement

13.11.2009 14:13

As to how activist already on crown court bail get bailed after another charge? The charges are also index linked. Under normal circumstances you wouldn't get bail.