Coventry & Warwickshire

Three arrested at University of Warwick Coventry protest

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Media captionThe clashes were caught on camera by sociology student Craig McVey

Three people have been arrested at a student demonstration at the University of Warwick's Coventry campus.

Police said they attended Senate House at 16:50 BST to find 25 students protesting about fees. A staff member reported being assaulted, they said.

The university said security staff had faced a "very shocking" and "totally unprovoked act of violence."

But sociology student Craig McVey said it was not the demonstrators that had caused the trouble.

Mr McVey, a 24-year-old postgraduate student, said protesters were sitting peacefully in Senate House following an earlier rally when police turned up without warning.

"It was really unexpected," he said.

"We had not been told the police were coming. As far as we were concerned we had done nothing wrong."

Image copyright David Lumb
Image caption Footage of the disruption has been posted on YouTube

He said police starting pushing people and the crowd got stirred up.

One officer discharged CS spray while another took out his Taser, he said.

"It was quite frightening. I have been to bigger demonstrations before but I've never seen anything like this."

One person has been arrested on suspicion of assault and two people on suspicion of obstructing police.

A University of Warwick spokesman said demonstrations had been expected and security personnel had been on site to oversee what they anticipated would be a peaceful protest.

He said: "Sadly, on this occasion, for the first time in my memory, the security staff were faced with a surprising and very shocking and totally unprovoked act of violence which required us, regretfully, to call the police."

Footage of the disruption has been posted on YouTube.

A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: "Police officers and security staff from the university worked together to ensure everyone was safe."

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