LATEST: Policing protests on the M25
On Monday, 13 September, shortly after 08:30hrs, the Met responded to reports of a sit down protest on the slip road of junction 14 of the M25. Fourteen people were arrested for highway obstruction and removed from the motorway.
As part of ongoing enquiries, the Met’s Public Order Crime Team arrested a further three people for conspiracy to cause public nuisance. Those arrested were a 55-year-old man at an address in Walworth; a 45-year-old woman at an address in Milton Keynes; and, a 49-year-old man at a location in Torquay.
On Wednesday, 15 September, at approximately 08:30hrs, the Met responded to a similar pattern of protest with a sit down by a group of individuals on junction 25 of the M25. The protesters on this occasion sought to delay the police response of removing them, by gluing themselves onto the road surface.
Officers made 14 arrests for obstructing the public highway. Eleven individuals were removed within the first hour of the officers’ arrival. Specialist officers deployed to remove those glued on, safely removed a further three individuals just before 10:30hrs. The road was fully opened at 10:35hrs.
The 31 people arrested have been released under investigation whilst the crime team fully investigate all lines of enquiry, and pursue all possible offences committed given the amount of material they have seized.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, said: "The actions of this group have significantly impacted the major road network around London.
"Removing individual protesters who have glued themselves to the road or locked themselves on to something is a complex and resource intensive challenge and we must do this in a safe and effective way.
"It is our view that this behaviour is unsafe and irresponsible, creating risk for themselves, other road users and officers. The very nature of where they are on the motorway and access slip roads means it is precarious for everyone at these locations. This behaviour goes beyond the parameters of reasonable exercise of protest rights and disproportionately impacts the rights of others to go about their daily business."