Met appeals for information after convoy blocks major roads
Officers are appealing for the public’s help to identify people who took part in a pro-Palestinian convoy that stopped traffic on the A13 and the Limehouse Link Tunnel on Saturday night.
At around 22:15hrs, officers became aware of a convoy of cars displaying Palestinian flags heading into central London.
It is believed the cars had originally set off from a car park in Hancock Road, Tower Hamlets.
Roads policing units, public order teams and the police helicopter were deployed to intercept the convoy.
The cars were held in Exhibition Road, South Kensington and a dispersal order was put in place. All 80 cars were given notices under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act ordering them to disperse and cease their participation in the convoy or face being seized.
One vehicle was ultimately seized, with fixed penalty notices for various road traffic offences issued to 18 drivers. A further nine vehicles were served with prohibition notices after defects were found making them unfit for use.
Subsequent investigations by officers have found that on their way into London, the convoy stopped twice on major roads – the A13 and the Limehouse Link Tunnel – causing not only disruption but danger to other road users.
Officers have examined social media and other available footage to identify those who are believed to have been involved in offences as part of the convoy. Their images are being released to the public.
T/Commander Karen Findlay, who led this weekend’s policing operation, said: “On some previous occasions, convoys of cars have passed through Jewish communities with occupants waving flags and shouting anti-Semitic abuse. They understandably caused significant concern, fear and upset.
“As soon as the convoy was spotted, a plan was put in place quickly to ensure the convoy would not reach areas where its presence would inevitably cause alarm and intimidation.
“Our enquiries have not only revealed the extent of their dangerous antics on major roads, they’ve also established the group had plans to move on from Exhibition Road to the Israeli Embassy off Kensington High Street.
“Our intervention on Saturday night was effective in stopping this convoy in its tracks, but now we need to identify those we suspect of being involved in offences earlier on their route.
“The public have been a great help in recent weeks when similar appeals have been made and I have no doubt they’ll continue to do the same.”
Anyone who can assist with identifying those in the images shared today should call 101, providing the reference 4237915/23 and the unique number in the bottom corner of the images being released.
Information can also be given to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.