Police Handled Climate Change Protests Well Despite "Unique Challenges", Says Former Met Deputy

20 April 2019, 10:00 | Updated: 20 April 2019, 18:39

A former Scotland Yard deputy has praised the Met's handling of Extinction Rebellion demonstrations, saying that the police have balanced protesters' rights with using excessive force on non-violent campaigners.

As police arrest more than 750 protesters since Extinction Rebellion demonstrations began on Monday, a former deputy says he is "impressed" with the Met's handling of the disruption.

Andy Trotter, a former deputy Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard said that "given the unique nature of this challenge, I think they've done very well.

"I think they've balanced those rights of the demonstrators with the need to be very cautious about using excessive force on people who are not offering violence in any way."

Police officers at Oxford Circus amongst the Extinction Rebellion protesters
Police officers at Oxford Circus amongst the Extinction Rebellion protesters. Picture: Getty

Mr Trotter added that the protest was "very different" to demonstrations he had been involved with over his career, saying that it was "going to be something that is handled cautiously and carefully".

"The fact that it's non-violent and the fact that it's so well organised gives the police quite a unique challenge in how they deal with it - taking people away, all the custody time that follows, the capacity for custody suites across London, and the fact that the moment people are arrested someone else turns up and takes their place," he said.

"This is going to be something that is handled cautiously and carefully but all in all I've been very impressed in the way the Met have dealt with it so far."

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