Over 120 people have been arrested after protest group Extinction Rebellion caused chaos across London.
The majority of the arrests have been made in the last 24 hours, with the vast majority of being attributed to breaches of Section 14 of the Public order Act 1986 and obstructing a highway. Five arrests were made for vandalism.
Chaos has ensued on the roads, with many taxi drivers being forced to undertake major detours in an attempt to circumvent the protest.
Bus routes have also been affected, with many services cancelled or diverted.
Following the demonstrations in central London, Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is currently dealing with a number of demonstrations taking place across London.
He said: “We have officers out on the ground engaging with protestors and local communities to ensure proportionate policing plans are in place.
“We need to ensure we are striking the right balance between allowing the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.
“We are mindful of the impact the demonstrations are having on the local communities and are working hard with partners including TfL to keep London moving and open for businesses and visitors alike.
“At this time, ongoing demonstrations are causing serious disruptions to public transport, local businesses and Londoners who wish to go about their daily business.
Superintendent Wingrove added: “As such a 24 hour condition was imposed at 18:55hrs last night which stipulated that protestors should continue any demonstrations within the Marble Arch area only.
“In order to impose this condition, the Met required evidence that serious disruption was being caused to communities in London. We so far have 55 bus routes closed and 500,000 people affected as a result. Based on the information and intelligence available at the time, we are satisfied that this threshold has been met and this course of action is necessary in order to prevent ongoing serious disruptions to communities.
“We are taking positive action against those who are choosing to ignore this condition and are continuing to demonstrate in other areas across London.
“At this time, we have made a total of 122 arrests. Five of which were for criminal damage following a disruption outside a commercial premises and the remaining 117 were made on Waterloo Bridge last night and in the early hours of this morning. The majority of these arrests were made for breaching Section 14 of the Public order Act 1986 and obstructing a highway. All remain in custody at this time.
“We expect demonstrations to continue throughout the coming weeks. We have significant resources in place to deal with any incidents that may arise and officers out on the ground who are well trained in maintaining public order.”
Image Source: Metropolitan police