'Stay out of Stop the Oil protests': Met tells drivers not to 'self-police' when eco-mob block roads

14 October 2022, 14:57 | Updated: 19 October 2022, 09:27

A police chief has told drivers who encounter Just Stop Oil protests not to take the law into their own hands.
A police chief has told drivers who encounter Just Stop Oil protests not to take the law into their own hands. Picture: Alamy / LBC

By Tim Dodd

A police chief has told drivers who encounter Just Stop Oil protests not to engage in 'self-policing'.

Commander Karen Findlay says she's now considering applying for court injunctions against repeat offenders glueing their hands or sitting on roads to block drivers, including emergency vehicles.

Over 200 officers per day are policing the demonstrations, diverting 7,000 Metropolitan Police hours from elsewhere.

But, speaking to the Standard, Ms Findlay warned frustrated road users against “self-policing” by dragging activists away or pushing them with their vehicles.

She said: “We are in no way tolerating criminality or anti-social behaviour. We are really alive to the impact on people coming to London.

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"Whilst we clearly facilitate protests, equally the concern is policing protracted protests. Resources are being moved away from policing local communities and being focused on London’s priorities, such as reducing knife crime.”

Ms Findlay added: “I can completely appreciate how some of the coverage generates questions about the length of time it takes officers to take action and remove these people.

“The issue about self-policing, we are not wanting people to feel that they have to do that. That is a job for the Metropolitan Police.

“We’ve arrested 376 people across the last 13 days. A high number of those have been bailed when there’s substantive offence involved — wilful obstruction and criminal damage.

“We’ve got the opportunity to bail people with conditions. It helps us manage the repeat offending.”

Just Stop Oil said: “We have tried everything else to make our criminal Government act.”

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