Extinction Rebellion: Met wants 1,130 climate protesters charged

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Oxford Circus boatImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Protesters occupied Oxford Circus as part of Extinction Rebellion demonstrations

The Met will push for the prosecution of more than 1,100 people arrested over last month's Extinction Rebellion protests, a senior officer has said.

So far more than 70 activists have been charged in connection with the demonstrations that brought parts of central London to a standstill.

Ten days of protests in April saw 1,130 people arrested for various offences.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said the Met wanted to deter other groups employing similar tactics.

The group's tactics included asking volunteers to deliberately get arrested to cause maximum disruption at roadblocks on Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch.

Other protesters glued themselves to trains and buildings.

Mr Taylor said 70 people had so far been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"It is our anticipation that we are putting all of those to the CPS for decisions," he said.

Mr Taylor insisted the Met was equipped to deal with any upcoming actions and said officers from other forces would be called into action if needed.

Media caption,
Extinction Rebellion protesters reach Parliament Square

He said the force was in discussions with the Home Office to review the current Public Order legislation with fears Extinction Rebellion's tactics could be adopted by other groups.

Mr Taylor added: "I'm not saying going to jail, but we would like to see consequences for any activity at these events that is unlawful.

"Protest is not illegal. There is nothing unlawful about protest."

In 2011, courts in London and Manchester had to open over the weekend to deal with more than 1,000 people charged with riot-related offences.

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