We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Police officers in the United Kingdom Loch Earn via Shutterstock

Met Police expresses 'regret' over arrests of six coronation protestors

The police were threatened with legal action when no charges were brought.

SCOTLAND YARD HAS expressed “regret” over the arrests of six anti-monarchy protesters ahead of the coronation of Britain’s King last weekend.

The police were threatened with legal action when no charges were brought.

Graham Smith, Chief Executive of anti-monarchist group Republic, said a chief inspector and two other Metropolitan Police officers personally apologised to him over what he called a “disgraceful episode”.

The Met said it had arrested the group using new powers under the much-criticised Public Order Act after it was believed items found alongside a large number of placards could be used as “lock-on devices” to cause disruption.

“Those arrested stated the items would be used to secure their placards, and the investigation has been unable to prove intent to use them to lock on and disrupt the event,” the statement said.

“This evening, all six have had their bail cancelled and no further action will be taken.

“We regret that those six people arrested were unable to join the wider group of protesters in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere on the procession route.”

Smith said the three officers apologised to him at his home in Reading, Berkshire, before handing back the phone straps they arrested him over.

He told the PA news agency: “They seemed rather embarrassed, to be honest.

“I said for the record I won’t accept the apology. We have a lot of questions to answer and we will be taking action.”

Scotland Yard said 52 of the 64 arrests made during its coronation operation in London on Saturday related to concerns individuals were going to disrupt the pageantry.

The force insisted its action was “targeted” at those believed to be “intent on taking this action”.

“Any suggestion all protest was prohibited is not correct,” it added.

Ken Marsh, head of the Metropolitan Police Federation representing officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector, said police were acting both lawfully and “impartially”.

“Protesting can take place in this country but it’s the level to which you want to perform that protest that we have to balance and deal with what’s put in front of us impartially. That’s what was done,” he told Today.

A significant police operation, dubbed “Golden Orb”, deployed 11,500 officers on Saturday as well as facial-recognition technology that civil liberties organisations branded “authoritarian”.

Press Association
Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel