Extinction Rebellion protests: Scots officers to assist in London

Police and Extinction Rebellion protestors Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Met Police Chief Cressida Dick said the force had been "stretched" by the protests

Up to 100 police officers are being deployed from Scotland to London next week to assist with the Extinction Rebellion protests.

The public order officers will work with colleagues in the Met responding to the climate change demonstrations.

Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone approved the request.

Met Police chief Cressida Dick said the force had been "stretched" by the protests, impeding its ability to respond to other crimes.

The demonstrations in London have led to more than 1,200 arrests.

The request was made by the National Police Co-ordination Centre on behalf of the Met.

Mr Livingstone, who has briefed Scotland's justice secretary on the move, said it would not undermine Police Scotland's ability to protect the public in Scotland.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The protesters blocked the entrance to the BBC's London headquarters on Friday

He said: "I have agreed to send a number of officers for a short time to assist with the policing of the Extinction Rebellion protests currently taking place in the city.

"The Scottish Police Federation is engaged in this process and the safety and welfare of my officers and colleagues is paramount.

"Scotland has benefited from mutual aid in the past and will do so again in the future. It's therefore appropriate that, as the UK's second biggest police service, we supply officers when asked to do so by other forces."

Activists blocked the entrance to the BBC's central London headquarters on Friday, with some scaling the front of the building.

On Thursday, demonstrations focused on London City Airport, where protesters attempted a "Hong Kong-style occupation" of the terminal building, with hundreds blocking the main entrance.

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