UPDATE: Arrests made during policing operation for the Coronation
As part of the policing operation in central London for the Coronation a total of 64 arrests were made on Saturday, 6 May.
52 of these related to concerns people were going to disrupt the event, and arrests included to prevent a breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. As part of the wider policing operation eight arrests were made for other offences, including possession of an offensive weapon, drugs offences, and breaching a sexual harm prevention order.
Ahead of the Coronation, a significant police operation was launched after we received information protesters were determined to disrupt the Coronation procession. Our activity was targeted at those we believed were intent on taking this action. It was not our intention to prevent protest and whilst the vast masses of the crowd were there to celebrate and witness a once in a generation event, it is very clear a number of protests took place across the footprint both before, during and after the event with no police intervention. Any suggestion all protest was prohibited is not correct.
Investigations into the 64 arrests have progressed over the weekend and so far four charges have been brought. Other investigations, which are more complex, require more time to progress all associated enquiries. This evening, Monday, 8 May, six people who had been arrested and bailed have been informed that they will face no further action.
- Arrests related to a vehicle stop in Westminster at 06:40hrs on Saturday, 6 May:
At 06:40hrs, officers working as part of the security operation in central London observed a group of people unloading items from a vehicle on St Martin’s Lane in Westminster close to the restricted zone near the Coronation procession route. Taking into account the information that people were seeking to seriously disrupt the event, and the significance of the security operation, officers had been briefed to be extremely vigilant and proactive.
They searched the vehicle and, as well as a large number of placards, found items which at the time they had reasonable grounds to believe could be used as lock on devices. Taking into account the information they had, and the overall concern regarding security, six people were arrested on suspicion of going equipped for locking on, contrary to Section 2 Public Order Act 2023. One man was also arrested for possession of a knife/pointed article.
It was not clear at the time that at least one of the group stopped had been engaging with police Protest Liaison Team officers ahead of the event. The Protest Liaison Team were not the arresting officers nor were they present in St Martin’s Lane at the time of the arrest.
The investigation team have now fully examined the items seized and reviewed the full circumstances of the arrest. Those arrested stated the items would be used to secure their placards, and the investigation has been unable to prove intent to use them to lock on and disrupt the event. This evening all six have had their bail cancelled and no further action will be taken. We regret that those six people arrested were unable to join the wider group of protesters in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere on the procession route.