Met Police spends £4.5m tackling daily Just Stop Oil protests

The Metropolitan Police has spent over £4.5m in the past six weeks dealing with Just Stop Oil (JSO) protests, which have been occurring daily since April 24. The demonstrations, part of an ongoing campaign of civil resistance, have disrupted events such as the Chelsea Flower Show, Gallagher Premiership final, and World Snooker Championship. The police force has had to allocate nearly 13,770 officer shifts to manage the protests, which have caused traffic disruptions and affected high-profile events.

New powers were introduced last month, allowing officers to force protesters off the road if they are causing significant disruption. These powers have been employed in 125 of the 156 slow marches that have taken place so far. According to the police, 86 arrests have been made for failing to comply, with 49 individuals charged to date.

The £4.5m expenditure comes in addition to the £7.5m spent on policing JSO protests between October and December last year. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan explained that JSO’s tactics of moving slowly in front of traffic on highways have had a clear intent to disrupt road users, causing a significant impact on the public.

Protests continued on Monday, with demonstrators marching in locations such as Waterloo near the Imax cinema, Victoria Street, and Cromwell Road in Chelsea. JSO has vowed to continue its protests indefinitely until the government ceases granting new licences for gas, coal, and oil.

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Adelekan acknowledged the public’s frustration with the ongoing disruptions and urged people not to take matters into their own hands but to contact the police instead. He stressed that while it may appear that the police are not responding quickly enough, managing protests is a complex task, and officers must ensure their response is lawful and appropriate. Adelekan emphasized that the arrest and charge figures indicate the seriousness with which the police are treating the situation, taking swift action to stop protests deemed to cause or potentially cause serious disruption.

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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