‘Ring of steel’ around Remembrance events to quash violent protest clashes
Scotland Yard said protesters will be “effectively banned” from going anywhere which is not on their designated march route and will “robustly ensure” opposing groups do not come together in what will be the biggest security operation of its kind.
Alongside the huge pro-Palestinian crowd march police fear large numbers of extreme right-wing groups and football hooligan groups could infiltrate the counter-protest movement which has vowed to “defend” the Cenotaph.
In response the Met had drafted in a thousand extra officers from every force across the country to supplement numbers. That means 1,850 officers will be deployed on the streets for Armistice Day while the Remembrance Sunday parade will be policed by 1,375 officers – around double what would normally be expected.
The Met say the challenges posed by this weekend are “far greater and more complex than we’ve delivered before”.
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The Cenotaph will be protected by metal barriers and officers working around the clock until Remembrance events are over on Sunday. The exclusion zone will also be put in place covering Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance and other relevant areas which applies to pro-Palestinian protestors but does not apply to far-right extremists.
With the biggest ever police operation of its kind swinging into action Gold Commander Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said he believed this weekend would be the “most challenging” he has encountered in his career.
He admitted it was inevitable there “will be confrontations” and the need for “officers to use force” in what he said would be a “rapid and robust” response to any trouble but said he was determined to “manage all groups involved”, “prevent serious disorder” and “ensure people remain safe”.
Mr Taylor said in the previous four protests since the Hamas terror attacks on October 7, trouble has broken out after the designated march had finished with small groups breaking away and “committing offences, behaving disorderly, officers being assaulted and fireworks being fired”.
He added: “Their behaviour has been escalating and becoming more violent and distressing to the public. Over the last four major events, we have made more than 100 arrests for offences including supporting proscribed organisations and serious hate crimes.
“Each week we’ve developed our tactics to more quickly deal with anyone committing crime locally in our communities and at significant events. Our operation covers every element of this weekend and will continue to develop as we gather intelligence and learn of new issues.
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