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Kay v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

As the monthly Critical Mass bicycle ride in the Metropolitan Police area was one that was commonly or customarily held, prior notice under s 11 of the Public Order Act 1986 was not required to be given to the police.

14 July 2006

Proceedings were issued to determine whether the monthly “Critical Mass” cycle ride (the event) through central London was a public procession of which the organisers were required to give the police prior notice under s 11 of the Public Order Act 1986. Critical Mass was not an organisation but the name given to a recurrent event. For over 12 years, cyclists had gathered at a set time and place in London on the evening of the last Friday of each month for a mass ride through the streets. The route was not fixed; whoever happened to be at the front decided which direction to take next. The approximate number of cyclists involved ranged from 100 to 400. At one event, the cyclists were handed a letter from the respondent commissioner notifying them that organisers of public processions were required by law to notify the to the police at least six days before the event occurred the date, time, proposed route and name and address of an organiser, and that failure to do so made the pr...

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