The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police says protesters blocking main roads in central London have not yet caused “major disruption”, which is why Police aren’t forcibly removing them from streets.
But Sir Mark Rowley has admitted “enormous” policing resources are being taken up dealing with the demonstrations.
ITV News has quoted comments made to the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee in which Sir Mark commented that officers have to wait until protests by Just Stop Oil and Animal Rebellion are deemed to meet a legal threshold of causing major disruption before they can be shut down.
His officers are in touch with Transport for London, local councils and the emergency services several times per day to check the level of disruption caused.
Sir Mark said: “Over the last 11 days, all of those partners have been of a view that it doesn’t cause serious disruption.”
He went on: “As soon as we have evidence of that serious disruption either being crossed as a line, or a good prospect of it being crossed, we’ll start being more assertive with our powers.”
ITV reports that so far there have been 338 arrests, mainly supporters of Just Stop Oil, but also a few of Animal Rebellion.
(Picture courtesy of Just Stop Oil)