A protest in central London has concluded with a number of arrests made.
On Saturday, 19 September, a number of people gathered to protest in Trafalgar Square. Officers were in attendance and adopted the four Es approach to explain, engage and encourage them to leave throughout the day.
Despite this, protesters remained in the area, putting themselves and others at risk.
Officers were met with outbreaks of violence directed towards them; the decision was therefore made by the Command Team to take action to disperse those who remained.
A total of 32 arrests were made for offences including violent disorder, public order and assault on an emergency worker, as well under Covid Regulations.
Two police officers suffered minor injuries.
The protest in Trafalgar Square was cleared shortly after 18:00hrs.
Superintendent Emma Richards, the Gold Commander, said: “We remain in the middle of a public health crisis, and by gathering in large numbers – such as today’s protest – puts others at risk. We advised those in attendance to leave but many refused to do so.
“The amount of hostility shown towards officers, who were simply there to keep people safe, is unacceptable. More than 30 people were arrested and they remain in custody.
“The area around Trafalgar Square has now been cleared allowing Londoners to continue with their Saturday evening, whilst adhering to government advice.”
+ Throughout this period the vast majority of Londoners have complied with the regulations. We all need to continue to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus. Please continue to act responsibly – maintain social distancing, respect the new regulations, and help keep yourself, your friends and family safe.
Exceptions to the new regulations include gatherings organised by certain types of body (such as a business or a charity), having carried out a full risk assessment and taken all steps to limit the transmission of the virus.
Other exemptions apply to gatherings that are necessary for the purposes of work, taking part in sports, to protest or to provide emergency assistance.
For a full list of exemptions, visit legislation.gov.uk and see the attached open letter intended for persons organising and / or participating in public gatherings.