Nick Ferrari Challenges Met Commissioner Cressida Dick Over Extinction Rebellion Pink Yacht
25 June 2019, 11:22
Cressida Dick tells LBC the police do not have the specific powers to intercept a boat being brought into central London, as she was quizzed over the force's response to Extinction Rebellion protests.
Nick Ferrari asked the Met Police Commissioner how a pink yacht was able to be brought into the centre of London during climate change protests without being stopped.
But Ms Dick said the reason why it wasn't intercepted earlier was because of a lack of powers.
"You haven't got powers to stop a pink yacht?" Nick asked.
The Commissioner replied: "No."
Nick said: "A yacht that stops in Oxford Circus, the old bill hasn't got the power to move it on?"
Ms Dick then told Nick that there is legislation about highway obstruction, but this needed to be balanced against the right to protest.
"We have to allow protest in a democracy which causes a reasonable about of disruption," she said.
Asked whether she thought it was reasonable to park a pink boat in the middle of Oxford Circus, Ms Dick said: "I don't, but I can tell you if we had tried to intercept the pink boat we wouldn't have had the power to do so,
She added: "Nor as soon as it was on the highway like that is there a specific piece of legislation that says you can take street furniture away like that."
More than one hundred people were arrested on the first day of climate change protests as thousands took to London's streets to join demonstrations.
The two week long disruption saw the occupation of Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Oxford Circus.
More than 50 bus routes were diverted as a result of the demonstrations, with London's retail sector claiming more than £12m in lost trade.