(LONDON) MET REPORT: Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist reflects on the policing of Extinction Rebellion protests in the capital over last two weeks #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Sept.06: Our specialist removal teams have worked tirelessly throughout. In the past two weeks they have removed 133 people locked on or glued to structures. This work is painstaking and hugely complex. We have also made in the region of 480 arrests…..

#AceDailyNews reports that nearly two weeks ago, Extinction Rebellion started fresh action in London. Like everyone else, they have the right to protest and assemble together, but this right must be balanced with the rights of others…….Those wanting to go about their lawful business unimpeded and without disruption and arrests were counted as 480 with 133 removed from locked or glued to structures that cost time and money that does not allow officers to carry out their other works of guarding and preventing crime ….

“Whatever the cause, activists do not have the right to cause unreasonable and serious disruption to London’s communities.

“In the past two weeks, we’ve seen activists overstep this. They’ve blocked traffic on two of London’s busiest bridges, defaced iconic landmarks and disrupted critical road junctions. Commuters’ journeys have been delayed, businesses had deliveries cancelled and the owners of landmarks have faced costly repairs.

“This action is unfair, unreasonable and unlawful. To worsen matters, activists frustrate our response by setting up complex structures or by gluing and locking onto devices.

“We’ve fulfilled our duty by facilitating these protests, but where protesters have taken direct action and broken the law our response has been firm and, at times, direct.

“This work takes time and has demanded thousands of officers each day to respond effectively. These are officers taken elsewhere from London. The impact of XR’s protracted action on London communities should not be underestimated.

“Every time several officers are needed to arrest a single activist, these are officers diverted from our number one priority, bearing down on violence. We are highly resilient but it is frustrating that communities are denied their officers in order to deal with a very protracted protest.

“Of course, we empathise with those passionate about addressing climate change. But, police must remain impartial and uphold the law, without fear or favour.

“We must also be alive to those Londoners who are likely sick of this protracted disruption, particularly as the capital continues the economic and social recovery as a result of the devastating pandemic.

“As demonstrations look set to continue this weekend, we urge organisers to consider the wider impact of their protests and to engage with us. Together with our policing partners – the City of London Police and British Transport Police – we will continue to police events in a fair and balanced way and minimise disruption to London.”

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Sept.06: 2021:

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