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Updated statement - M25 protest

16 Sep 2021

18 people were arrested in connection with the protest near South Mimms yesterday. They have since been released under investigation following liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The investigation is ongoing and further action will be taken pending further enquiries. All 18 people are subject to Community Protection Notice Warnings.

Chief Superintendent Richard Liversidge said: “Police received calls alerting us to a protest near junction 1 (South Mimms) of the A1M shortly after 8am yesterday morning (Wednesday 15 September). Patrolling officers were at the scene by 8.08am and were faced with a challenging situation in which protestors had blocked the carriageway and glued themselves to the tarmac.

“Tasked with ensuring the safety of the wider public and those in the carriageway, they worked quickly to minimise disruption to motorists on the local and wider road network. Unavoidably, due to this group’s actions, it took time to safely de-bond the protestors from the tarmac as well as ensure that the roads could be safely re-opened.

“Policing protests is complex, in part due to the operating environment, the number of people involved and the need for us to deploy specialist resources to resolve and manage the situation.

“There are clear, national standards regarding the policing of a protest which our officers were following. The powers we have are created by Parliament, and we use them fairly and proportionately.

“Comment has been made about the approach taken by my officers, and I would like to remind people that what they are seeing is a very short clip, depicting an officer engaging with the group and informing them that if they did not move off the road, they were going to be arrested, in line with standard procedure.

“This resulted in 18 arrests being made yesterday and a full investigation is underway. We understand the frustration regarding the traffic delays experienced but would ask that people understand that we did – and are doing – everything in our power to deal with the situation.”

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