The use of stop and search powers increased by more than a fifth during weekends protests were taking place in central London.
Big Brother Watch has revealed data from an investigation into the misuse of the policing tactic that, aside from special circumstances, can only be used for a limited reasons.
“Our research shows an alarming pattern of police disproportionately using existing powers to deliberately target people exercising their right to protest.”
“With new anti-protest legislation looming, this should come as a warning to anyone who believes in a free society where our democratic rights are protected,” Johnson said.
“The public order bill would grant officers new protest-specific stop and search powers which can be used without suspicion. This is a disaster for civil liberties in the UK. Protest should be treated as a vital part of our democracy and not as an inherent threat. It is the job of the police to facilitate peaceful protests, not inhibit them,” said Mark Johnson, legal and policy officer at Big Brother Watch