Just Stop Oil: statement following meeting with police chiefs at Downing Street
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley and Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist were among representatives of UK policing at a roundtable hosted at No.10 Downing Street today.
Following the meeting, Assistant Commissioner Twist, who leads on public order policing, said:
“The actions of activists Just Stop Oil continue to take up valuable officer time that could be better used in local communities and dealing with priority crime.
“Whilst this week we have seen low level of activity by them, we still have to ensure we have officers on standby right across London to respond to any spontaneous action they may take, given we have no prior engagement. That meant yesterday we had 180 officers taken away from their day to day duties.
“Indeed, since they started their campaign on 2 October, there have been 46 days of action which have taken over 12,500 dedicated officer shifts to police, equating to more than £5.5 million.
“Each day they come out, we have to be ready to respond to what their actions are based on, their behaviour, size of the group and if they have broken any law. We know it has been frustrating for Londoners this week seeing them walking slowly in the roads in central London, but as they have been small in number, and keep moving with traffic being able to move around them or easily divert, we are less likely to be able to arrest and prosecute them for unlawful obstruction.
“Everyone has the right to protest but some of their activity is not protest, it has been simple criminality - intent on disrupting London. When we see crime we will deal with it quickly. We have arrested 755 people to date, and have so far charged 182 for a range of offences from obstruction of the highway to conspiracy to intentionally or recklessly cause public nuisance. We are determined to work with the CPS to charge everyone who has brought misery to the public through their unlawful actions.
“They have made their intent clear, to carry out further protest, and we will continue to act and ensure Londoners can go about their daily business.”