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Met Police justify use of ‘kettling’ in Saturday’s violent Downing Street protest

Extra police deployed during 'anti-austerity' protest outside Downing Street. Image: screengrab from video @ShirleyAsquith

Extra police deployed during ‘anti-austerity’ protest outside Downing Street. Image: screengrab from video @ShellyAsquith. Click through to see video.

The Met Police have justified their use of ‘containment’ public order policing- otherwise known as ‘kettling’- during the violent protests outside Downing Street last night.

15 people have been arrested for Public Order Act, and assault on police offences.

Four officers were injured and one hospitalized for a dislocated shoulder.

The youngest of those arrested is a 16-year-old boy; 12 suspects (including one woman) are aged between 19 and 26; one is a 30-year-old man and the oldest is a 45-year-old man.

Of the 15 people arrested, 14 people have been bailed to return to London police stations on dates in early July pending further enquiries including a full review of CCTV footage.

A 24-year-old man remains in custody having been arrested on suspicion of assault on police.

Acting Commander Colin Morgan said:

Police were aware of potential protests, and a number of small groups were monitored on Saturday afternoon as they moved around the Westminster area.

Based on the available intelligence, a large number of police officers were on duty to address any disorder.

From 16:00hrs, these officers began to deal with a protest outside Downing Street. During the course of the evening, the protest in Downing Street became larger and more disorderly. A number of protestors engaged in violent disorder and, in a quick response to this escalation, at 18:17hrs a containment was put in place to prevent any further breach of the peace.

We respect the right of people to protest peacefully, while we must also balance the need for Londoners and visitors to go about their business – and for events such as this weekend’s VE Day celebrations to be held safely.

We carefully assess the intelligence and information available to us and we put in place the most appropriate policing operation, which will often include having officers available on standby to respond rapidly to disorder.

Meanwhile enquiries continue into the criminal damage caused to the memorial in Whitehall to the women of World War II.

Abusive graffiti was daubed in red spray paint on the monument.

Chief Superintendent Gerry Campbell said:

We have launched an investigation into criminal damage to the Women in World War II Memorial. This crime 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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