Eco-protester should 'look forward' to more jail time if he carries on says former top cop

7 January 2022, 10:19 | Updated: 7 January 2022, 10:35

By Amelia Isaacs

A former Chief Constable told LBC an Insulate Britain protester who was recently released from jail should "look forward to another sentence" if his actions continue.

Speaking exclusively to LBC engineering student Louis Mckechnie, 21, who was jailed for glueing himself to the M25, said his time in prison has "emboldened" him and that he would be willing to be jailed again.

Former Chief Constable of Cumbria Police Dr Stuart Hyde QPM told Nick Ferrari that Mckechnie's comments on prison provide a "rose-tinted view".

Read more: Exclusive: Eco protester reveals he got hero's welcome in jail and would do it all again

He said: "If you look at the comments from some of the other people they didn't have a great time.

"They were separated from their families, they weren’t able to see their friends and the consequences of having a conviction will impact on their later lives."

Dr Hyde explained that in addition, Mckechnie and other protesters have put themselves at a higher risk of being easily identifiable to police in the future.

He said: "[The police] will have your photographs, they'll have your fingerprints, your DNA, and with the amount of publicity you're getting it really does make the police job much, much easier to be able to convict people like Louis in the future.

"So he should look forward to another sentence if he's going to carry on this activity.

Read more: Second group of Insulate Britain activists could face jail for disruptive M25 protests

When asked by Nick Ferrari how protesters could be persuaded to abide by the law, Hyde noted public frustration.

He said: "I think public pressure now and public opinion is really against these sort of guerilla tactics of just blocking roads without any reference to the type of journeys people might be undertaking.

"So they don't have public opinion on their side.

"They certainly do in terms of the motivation and what they're trying to achieve.

"I think we would all like to see housing properly insulated, and I agree with that, but it's the tactics that you use to do it."

He added: "We have a democratic process and we should use our democratic right to be able to undertake that.

"And yet, you do have a fundamental right to demonstrate, but that doesn't mean to say that you have a right to override people's daily lives in such a ridiculous way."