Londoners forced to carry ID to pass G20 roadblocks

By Laura Miller

Hundreds of Londoners living near the site of the G20 Summit will be forced to carry photo ID to get past war-zone type road blocks and return to their homes.

People living near the Excel centre in Docklands, east London, received the order from the Metropolitan police as security tightens in the lead up to Thursday’s G20 Summit.

The heads of the world’s wealthiest nations, including American president Barack Obama, will come together in the area, multiplying security protocols usually reserved for visiting leaders.

But human rights campaigners have questioned the legal right of the police to impose such strict measures on residents.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty, said: “The police don’t have the right to require people to carry ID papers.”

“If they are asking them to they better be asking them nicely and come up with some proper reasons.

“I don’t blame residents for being upset.”

The order demands people who live at the western end of the Excel estate take “two forms of identification/proof of address (one of which must be photographic)” with them when they leave their homes, in order “to gain entry through security cordons” on their way back.

A spokesperson for the Met said it was with “regret” the measures were being implemented, but that they were necessary due to the extraordinary nature of Thursday’s meeting.