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LATEST: Policing demonstrations in Westminster

News   •   Oct 24, 2020 18:03 BST

Officers policing demonstrations in Westminster on Saturday, 24 October have made 18 arrests with three officers receiving minor injuries following clashes with protesters.

Arrests were for a variety of offences including breaching Coronavirus regulations, assaulting an emergency service worker, violent disorder and for being wanted.

All crowds have now been dispersed, however the Met’s policing plan will continue into the evening.

Commander Ade Adelekan, leading today’s police operation, said: “Throughout the day, officers have been managing a number of complex protests at various locations across central London. One demonstration in particular attracted a large number of protesters and I became increasingly concerned that those in the crowd were not maintaining social distancing or adhering to the terms of their own risk assessment.

“Organisers did not take reasonable steps to keep protesters safe which then voided their risk assessment. At this point, officers then took action to disperse crowds in the interests of public safety.

“I am grateful that the vast majority of people listened to officers and quickly left the area. Frustratingly, a small minority became obstructive, deliberately ignoring officers’ instructions and blocking Westminster Bridge.

“Although the majority of protests have concluded, our policing operation will continue into the night and I would urge Londoners to stick to the regulations, avoid gathering in large numbers and maintain social distancing.”