Norfolk Constabulary send officers to London to help deal with climate change protests
PUBLISHED: 15:43 20 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:43 20 April 2019
Norfolk Constabulary have sent officers to London to help deal with Climate Change protests in the capital.
Since Monday, Extinction Rebellion (XR) protestors have been stationed in Parliament Square, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge.
As of Saturday morning police officers had arrested 718 people and charged 28 in connection with the demonstrations which are expected to last two weeks.
Among those arrested have been several members from the Norwich XR group.
Police have been trying to confine the protests to Marble Arch, but protesters have ignored the threat of arrest and continued to block other sites, including Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Parliament Square.
Now, the Metropolitan Police have called on neighbouring police forces in the east and south-east of England - including Norfolk - to help deal with the demonstrations.
A spokesperson said the force had “requested mutual aid” from other areas to help with the operation in London but would give no indication of numbers.
Inspector Chris Tompkins from Norfolk Constabulary confirmed the force had sent officers to assist The Met over the weekend.
Although unable to confirm how many were being sent to the capital he said the force would have officers present on Saturday and Sunday.
Essex Police and Kent Police forces are also reported to have sent officers to London to help deal with the increased demand.
Despite the large police presence, the XR protests have remained peaceful.
Members of the Norwich XR group who have been present in the city since the demonstrations started on Monday described the atmosphere in Parliament Square on Thursday night as “lovely” with lots of people singing and dancing as part of the protests.
They also said the protests had been well received by members of the public and that the movement was gaining members all the time.
XR is calling on the Government to better inform the public about climate change, declare a climate emergency, make the country carbon neutral by 2025 and create a citizens assembly model on environmental issues.
The group has pledged to continue causing disruption and holding demonstrations in London until its demands are met.