Andrew Pierce 6pm - 9pm
Chairman Of Met Police Federation Defends Police Reaction To Climate Change Protests
19 April 2019, 17:27 | Updated: 19 April 2019, 17:31
Ken Marsh said that the protests in London are unprecedented in their nature, but assured Londoners that they will NOT go on indefinitely.
Extinction Rebellion protesters continue to block off key areas of London on their fifth day of climate change protests.
Dame Emma Thompson arrived at the Extinction Rebellion protest in Oxford Circus earlier today and told reporters she had come to support the movement and had been greatly inspired by it.
After Sajid Javid published various tweets about the police reaction to the climate change protests, Ken Marsh seemed unimpressed.
The Chairman of the Met Police Federation told Eddie Mair: "Sajid Javid doesn't have the power to tell police officers what to do".
Let me be clear - I totally condemn any protesters who are stepping outside the boundaries of the law. They have no right to cause misery for the millions of people who are trying to lead their daily lives. Unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated. (4/6)— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) April 18, 2019
I expect the police to take a firm stance & use the full force of the law. I've spoken to the Met Commissioner to offer our support & pass on my appreciation to the thousands of officers patrolling the streets of the capital over the Bank Holiday. (5/6)— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) April 18, 2019
Ken Marsh said: "It's very difficult for us because we are being pushed from pillar to post by all sorts of commentators who think they have the knowledge, the know-how and the understanding of dealing with what is put in front of us.
"Unfortunately most of them don't...[My colleagues] have a strategy, they have plan, and we're moving forward with it. It is very very difficult."
The Chairman of the Met Police Federation revealed that the situation was "unprecedented", partly owing to the sheer number of protesters being arrested - over 600 - and yet zero officers being injured.
He explained that it was very "labour intensive" requiring large numbers of police to deal with safe arrests, custody arrangements and so on.
Ken Marsh also said that the protesters "know exactly what they're doing" and that "they've been guided very carefully" with solid legal advice.
Nevertheless, he assured Eddie that the protests would "categorically" not last indefinitely, and predicted that they would be "dealt with" within the next few days.