Officers 'risking their lives' deal with M25 protests
Police officers are regularly “putting their lives at risk” to deal with protesters blocking the M25, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has said.
Sir Stephen House told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee on Thursday that he is concerned about the pressure police forces are under to quickly clear the protests, meaning officers are sometimes failing to prioritise their own safety.
Sir Stephen said: “The most recent one I saw had officers running between articulated lorries that were moving on the main carriageway of the M25. We cannot be doing that. We cannot put people’s lives at risk. My officers’ lives at risk and indeed the demonstrators’ lives at risk.
“We have to look out for that first. But we have been very quick in moving these people and arresting them. They started off on the slip roads, which is bad enough, but we’ve now moved on to the main carriageways of the M25, which is absolute lunacy.”
Earlier today (October 1), climate group Insulate Britain staged its tenth day of protests in the past three weeks, blocking off roundabouts at Junction 3 of the M4 near Heathrow, West London, and Junction 1 of the M1 at Brent Cross, North London.
The protests have continued despite the Government obtaining an injunction last week, which means anyone blocking the M25 could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.
The group admitted that the latest demonstrators included eight people released from police custody on Thursday after blocking the M25 at Junction 30 in Essex, and others who were arrested earlier this week. The group also admits that its actions are in breach of the injunction.
It has pledged to continue its actions until the Government makes “a meaningful statement indicating that they will insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030”.