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Climate protests in central London

News   •   Sep 20, 2019 18:57 BST

Statement from Commander Dave Musker, the Met’s lead for today’s climate protests in London.

Following the conclusion of the Global Strike Youth 4 Climate protests in London on Friday, 20 September, Commander Dave Musker, said: “The Metropolitan Police Service fully supports the right to protest and we are very well versed policing some of the biggest demonstrations nationally.

“On Thursday, 19 September, we implemented conditions on the Global Strike Youth 4 Climate protests based on intelligence reports that suggested that a large number of protesters were planning on causing serious disruption and criminal offences that would stop Londoners, and those visiting, from moving freely around the Capital.

“The vast majority of today’s protesters abided by the conditions and the day ran smoothly. We continued to engage with the event organisers, and due to the fact that protesters had adhered to our conditions, agreed to allow a procession to move off from Millbank and return to Parliament Square.

“A tiny minority of protesters took this to mean that they could attempt to block Lambeth Bridge, a key route for emergency services to St Thomas’ Hospital.

“I will not accept the actions of those who ignore clear conditions set for the protest and appear determined to break the law.

“I am also increasingly aware of the cumulative impact of these protests on Londoners as they cause significant disruption to those simply trying to get about their daily lives.

“Furthermore, hundreds of officers were drafted in to police the protest. They were taken away from their daily duties on the capital’s boroughs, where they are committed to tackling violent crime and engaging with their communities.”

Arrest update:

Seven people - no further details at this time - were arrested under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 for breaching conditions imposed on the protest.

One man - no further details - was arrested on Lambeth Bridge under Section 80 of the Explosives Act (on suspicion of discharging a flare in a public place).