Message to People Arrested at Faslane 365 Big Blockade
The base was well and truly disrupted. By the end of the day 193 people had been arrested. Apart from one woman who was taken to Bournemouth on a warrant everyone else was released during the evening and was told that a report would be sent to the Procurator Fiscal (the prosecutor in Scotland). We have just heard from a couple of people who have now been sent citations to appear at Helensburgh District Court for a Breach of the Peace. Others have had a letter to say that they are not being prosecuted. Please let us know if you hear anything even if your charges are being dropped as it helps us to get a picture of how the courts are responding to us.
You might get:
A Letter from the PF
saying that they COULD prosecute but in this instance they won't but you are NOT TO DO IT AGAIN! Most people during Faslane 365 got this, but we don't know if they'll bother for the Big Blockade. The only legally significant bit of this letter is the fact that they aren't prosecuting you (i.e. charges are dropped). Sometimes people write back and say that as they have done nothing wrong the PF shouldn't be keeping records about them anyway.
A Fixed Penalty Fine of £50.
You could just pay this...although most people don't. If you write back to say you won't pay or you just ignore it you will probably get called to court. Paying it means that you don't get a criminal record which you would get if you are found guilty by a court. See more about this at http://www.faslane365.org/en/fixed_penalty_fines
A Citation to Appear in Court
usually in Helensburgh District Court (although sometimes Dumbarton Sheriff Court). You can plead guilty or not guilty by letter. Usually people plead not guilty but it's your choice. If you plead not guilty you will have to come in person for the trial. There is a detailed briefing on your options at this point, and the process from here on, on http://www.faslane365.org/en/resources_for_people_being_prosecuted (or contact the Legal Working Group).
Often you will hear no more from the authorities and after about six months it is unlikely that you will.
If you are a member of an affinity group then let them know if you are being prosecuted. They could help by coming to support you in court, raising funds to cover your travel costs and fines, getting local press coverage etc.
Faslane 365 has now finished and the Steering Group has had its last meeting. However the Faslane 365 Legal Working Group will continue to give support to people coming to court. If you need legal advise, help with finding accommodation or just want to talk through what you are going to say in court then contact us:
or Tel: 0845 45 88 369
Jane and Adam
Faslane 365 Legal Working Group