Police Chief Promises "We Learned Our Lessons On Extinction Rebellion"
7 October 2019, 10:39
Laurence Taylor told Nick Ferrari that the police will deal with protests "robustly" and arrests will be made to try and minimise disruption to Londoners.
Laurence Taylor, who is the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Operations at the Metropolitan Police, told LBC: "So, we've got an awful lot of officers who will be looking to enforce unlawful behaviour. As you said, protest is a fundamental human right and we're absolutely not saying you can't protest. But what we are saying is the protest has to be lawful.
The police's role is to enforce the law and where behaviour is unlawful and obstructing the highways for significant periods of time or other behaviour that we anticipate, which is unlawful, we will deal with and we will deal with robustly."
Nick Ferrari asked if it is a different approach to previous policing efforts.
Taylor responded: "What I won't say is there won't be disruption, there is going to be significant disruption."
He added: "We're anticipating a number of sites around Westminster that are going to attempt o be blocked with a number of protests around the capital at the same time."
He explained how the police force would cope with major disruption: "The Met is a large organisation and we will cope but it does mean that we're drawing officers from across the capital, who should be working in their local communities, and it means that we're unable to do some of the policing activity that we want and should be doing in our local communities."
Ferrari asked about local raids.
Taylor said: "We found an awful lot of material that would be utilise fo large scale protest as well as material that would enable people to stay on the streets for 24 hours a day and for a prolonged period of time."
He spoke of an "appropriate policing plan"and said: "We will be arresting, we've made arrests this morning already, we made arrests over the weekend and will continue to do that."
He continued: "If you think back to April, by the end, we'd arrested over 1150 people, 800+ who have now been charged."
He then said: "We will be looking to be as proactive as we can be and we are very, very keen to prevent the level of disruption we saw in April."