The Metropolitan Police have launched a ‘major’ operation to identify and arrest climate change protesters suspected of planning ‘reckless and serious’ disruptions to the motorways as Cop27 kicks off.
Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said three people suspected of planning a public disturbance were arrested on Sunday evening. Police expected to make more arrests overnight.
Mr Twist said: ‘Our investigation has strong reason to suspect the Just Stop Oil group of intending to disrupt major motorway road networks which could cause serious harm to the public, with reckless actions to impede the large-scale audience.
“All those arrested are suspected of engaging in a conspiracy to cause public nuisance in breach of section 78 of the Policing, Crime, Punishment and Courts Act 2022.
“There remains a possibility that outstanding suspects still intend to unlawfully disturb the public. The Met mobilized specialist teams and attracted police from across the capital to respond.
According to the Met, which is carrying out the operation in conjunction with the National Police Coordination Center (NPoCC), more than 10,000 teams of officers have been dedicated to monitoring the Just Stop Oil protests since early October.
“These are officers who would otherwise deal with issues important to local communities, such as knife crime, protection and burglary response,” Twist said.
“We are determined to bring to justice anyone who conspires to cause significant and unreasonable disruption to London, or cause damage to buildings, property or valuables. This is what the public expects, and we will work closely with the Crown and the courts to make sure it happens.
Police are calling on the public to help prevent public disruption by protesters by reporting it to 999.
Just Stop Oil staged 32 days of disruption from late September and throughout October which the Met said resulted in 677 arrests with 111 people charged and officers working a total of 9,438 shifts additional.
The climate change action group has called on the government to scrap plans to permit more than 100 new oil and gas projects by 2025, and do more to help people meet rising energy bills. soar.
“Political failures…will plunge millions of people into poverty and give them the choice between heating, eating or providing basic necessities for themselves and their families,” Just Stop Oil said in a recent statement.
“After decades of misinformation and climate lag, we face an existential crisis. We are going to lose everything that is dear to us. We must abandon the new oil and gas now and we must change our policy, so that in the future everyone can have a say in the decisions that will determine the future of humanity.
According to the group, since its campaign began on April 1, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested nearly 2,000 times, and five of their supporters are currently in jail.