We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Met launch proactive approach against “reckless” protestors

The force has launched a “significant” operation to identify and arrest those suspected of planning motorway disruption in the next few days.

Protestors suspected of planning motorway disruptions will be arrested under an operation launched by the Met this morning. 

It comes as Cop27 gets underway in Sharm el-Sheikh and the force anticipates the Just Stop Oil group will plan to disrupt major motorway networks. 

The operation will identify and then arrest those suspected of planning “reckless and serious” motorway disruption under Section 78 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 (intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance).

Previously under common law, the offence is now set out in statute. 

There were three proactive arrests on Sunday and a further four this morning. They’re in addition to those arrested for highway disruption (at the minute standing at 19). 

ACC Matt Twist said: “The suspected intent was disproportionate to any legitimate right to protest and clearly crosses the line into unlawful activity. 

“Our investigation [gave strong reason to believe] the Just Stop Oil group intended to disrupt the M25 which would cause serious harm to the public and was a reckless action to disrupt the public on a very large scale.” 

Police Oracle understands that while this is not about “policing protests” but criminal activity, if there is continued intel suggesting this level of action, the Met will continue with a proactive approach. 

The current operation, which has not yet been named, will see the Met working alongside the National Police Coordination Centre and six regional forces were involved in arrests this morning. 

In spite of this and an injunction granted on Saturday by the High Court for National Highways against Just Stop Oil, action has gone ahead in 13 locations on the M25. All have now been cleared and resolved. 

Surrey Police tweeted that they had reports there were protesters at a number of places along the motorway, resulting in some temporary lane closures.

The force said they would “get this resolved as soon as possible”.

Superintentendent Graham Barnett, Commander for Surrey and Sussex Police emphasised that while specialist resources are held in reserve, they are finite, and today’s action has resulted in officers being taken away from other activities. 

Essex Police said arrests were made after reports of people climbing up an overhead gantry close to junction 30 of the M25.

Hertfordshire Police said five people had been arrested after protesters attempted to climb overhead gantries at various junctions.

Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said: “There remains a possibility [that] outstanding suspects are still intent on causing unlawful disruption to the public. The Met has mobilised specialist teams and drawn police officers from across the capital to respond.”

Since the start of October more than 10,000 Met officer shifts have been dedicated to the Just Stop Oil protests. 

The group has staged 32 days of disruption since the end of September which the Met has said resulted in 677 arrests, 111 people charged and officers working 9,438 additional shifts. 

The climate change action group has been calling on the Government to abandon plans to licence over 100 new oil and gas projects by 2025, and to do more to help people with their skyrocketing energy bills.

Five Just Stop Oil supporters are currently in prison according to the group. 

In an update on its website, the group said: “This is not a one-day event, expect us every day and anywhere. This is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project.

“Our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.”

Leave a Comment
View Comments 10
In Other News
Government look to broaden definition of “serious disruption”
Officers suffer serious injuries in Iran Embassy clash with protesters
Officers diverted through mutual aid to deal with Leicester disorder
“Essex is not soft on illegal protest” says public order lead
Viewpoint: No, don’t stop the Carnival, but should we?
More News