Crime & the Law

17 arrested in violent Whitehall ‘anti-austerity’ protests, police injured and inquiry into defacing of national war memorial to women

Anti-Austerity march in Whitehall. Police officer and police worker injured. Image:

Anti-Austerity march in Whitehall. Arrests and police injured. Image: @TfLTrafficNews

The Met Police in Westminster have made 17 arrests at an unplanned and violent ‘anti-austerity’ protest outside Downing Street.

The demonstration has given Prime Minister David Cameron a noisy reception to his new government.

The Met Police say:

‘A number of protesters engaged in violence and disorder and a containment was put in place to prevent any further breach of the peace.’

The protest has been described as ‘spontaneous’ beginning at around 4 pm and continuing until around 9 pm before ‘the protesters dispersed and roads reopened.’

It could be heard during a live news broadcast on ITV news Saturday evening.

17 people have been taken to police stations in north and west London having been detained for a variety of offences under the Public Order Act, 1986, violent disorder and assaulting police.

Four police officers and a civilian police worker have been injured, with two requiring hospital treatment.

Officers are investigating what they describe as ‘abhorrent’ criminal damage to the Women’s War Memorial in Whitehall.

Underneath the inscription to ‘The Women of World War II’ the words  ‘**** Tory Scum,’ have been daubed in red paint.

There are no reported injuries to any members of the public.

One of the police officers taken to hospital is being treated for a suspected dislocated shoulder, and a member of police staff was treated for a cut lip after being struck by an object.

Chief Superintendent Gerry Campbell said:

The vast majority of those protesting did so peacefully however a small minority were intent on causing disorder and engaged in violence, injuring five officers and staff – two of which required hospital treatment. Our best wishes are with those officers and staff at this time.

We have launched an investigation into criminal damage to the Women in World War II Memorial. This is particularly abhorrent considering we are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of VE Day. I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the criminal damage taking place or may have information regarding those involved to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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