(LONDON) MET REPORT: A day of protest activity in central London has concluded with seven arrests and without any significant incidents #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.24: In the week leading up to the event, the Met engaged with event organisers to understand the risk assessment that they had in place and to determine whether the event was able to be held in accordance with the remaining #COVID19 restrictions:

LONDON: Day of protest activity concludes with seven arrests but no significant incidents: ‘The National Demonstration for Palestine set off from Victoria Embankment in the early afternoon with participants making their way to Hyde Park where invited speakers addressed the crowd from a stage’

A comprehensive policing plan was in place which saw resources from the Metropolitan Police, the City of London Police and the British Transport Police deployed at key locations around the protest route. 

In addition, significant community engagement took place prior to and throughout the day to explain how officers were responding to the protests in addition to other updates to ensure communities felt informed. 

Independent Advisory Group members, including representatives from the Jewish and Muslim communities, attended the Special Operations Room so they could observe first hand the focus on proportionate and impartial policing throughout the day.

As well as the resources who were with the demonstration, additional officers patrolled in communities and on the roads and transport network outside the centre of the city to reassure Londoners and to be able to respond quickly to any incidents. 

The majority of those participating in the demonstration made their way in a safe manner to Hyde Park and dispersed calmly following the planned speeches. 

An isolated group chose to separate from the main event and make their way to Kensington High Street in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy where they were monitored by officers. 

Shortly after 19:00hrs, a small group left the area and made their way through local streets. Damage was caused to a passing car and some missiles were thrown at officers. Efforts to engage with the group proved unsuccessful. 

In order to prevent a further breach of the peace and to ensure the safety of the wider community, the group was contained by officers and released in a controlled manner with those responsible for offences arrested and the remainder ordered to disperse. 

In total there were seven arrests during the course of the day for the following offences:

  • Racially aggravated public order offence. 
  • Homophobic public order offence. 
  • Going equipped to steal (x2). 
  • Violent disorder (x3). 

All those arrested were male. They have been taken into custody. 

Chief Superintendent Andy Walker, who led the police operation, said: “Today we saw a significant number of people gather in central London to take part in a demonstration. Our policing plan was successfully implemented and I am pleased that the main event was facilitated safely and without incident: “ We reacted quickly to the decision by a small group to break away from the main protest and where offences were identified, arrests were made: “ As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic we are still striking a careful balance between the rights of demonstrators and the need to keep Londoners safe and prevent a resurgence of the virus. I am grateful to the majority of those who attended this event, and to our officers, for helping to achieve those objectives today.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.24: 2021:

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