Senior Police Officer Denies Political Pressure to Protect Coronation Image Amidst Protest Crackdown

Senior Police Officer Denies Political Pressure to Protect Coronation Image Amidst Protest Crackdown

…By Henry George for TDPel Media.

A senior Metropolitan police officer has refuted claims that the force was influenced by political pressure to prioritize the image of the coronation over handling protesters.

Advertisement

The arrests made by the police during the event, including those of volunteers distributing rape alarms and six members of the campaign group Republic, who had previously cooperated with the police to organize their own protest, faced intense criticism.

Among those affected was Alice Chambers, a royal fan who was mistaken for a protester and held in custody for 13 hours while waiting on the Mall.

An Alleged Instruction and the Response

According to an anonymous senior police source cited in the i newspaper, there was supposedly a “very firm instruction not to damage the reputation of the UK.”

However, the Home Office denied recognizing this claim.

Metropolitan Police Temporary Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist testified before Members of Parliament on Wednesday, stating that he did not feel political pressure but rather the pressure to ensure a safe and secure operation.

The event was considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people, and given the large number of celebrants expected in London, it required the biggest protection operation ever conducted.

Advertisement

Complexity of the Policing Situation

Assistant Commissioner Twist explained to the Commons Home Affairs Committee that the officers faced an unprecedented and highly challenging policing scenario due to the national celebration.

He described it as the “most challenging, fast moving and complex policing picture” they had ever encountered.

Arrests and Release of Republic Members

The six members of Republic were the first to be arrested under the new Public Order Act, implemented shortly before the coronation.

They were initially detained on suspicion of being equipped to “lock-on,” a tactic used by protesters to impede police movement.

However, they were later released without charges.

Defense of Police Actions

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley defended the actions of the police in a letter to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, emphasizing that the officers had acted on reasonable grounds and potential risks to the event.

He suggested that if they had not taken action based on the evidence available at the time, more significant questions would have arisen.

Balancing Protests and Impacts

Assistant Commissioner Twist acknowledged the delicate balance between the rights of protesters and the impact on others.

Advertisement

He informed the committee that there is often a fine line between lawful protest and demonstrations that venture into illegal activities.

The shifting dynamics in recent times have complicated this distinction, necessitating quicker intervention in cases of criminal behavior.

Difficult Judgment Calls by Officers

Regarding the arrest of the Republic members, Mr. Twist explained that officers on the ground were not aware that the straps they possessed would be used to secure placards.

He clarified that officers had to make challenging judgments based on the information and circumstances they faced in the moment.

The threshold for making an arrest based on reasonable grounds is lower than that required for charging someone, and the officers believed that the straps could be used for locking on, given the threat environment they perceived.

Advertisement

Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media

About the Author:

Henry George SNR holds a Masters degree in English Language. He is a passionate Digital Marketer using hand-on tools (Google Ads, Meta Business Manager, Meta Business Suites, WordPress, etc.) to communicate brands’ values and drive maximum Sales Qualified Leads. He lives in Wales, United Kingdom. He writes for TDPel Media on interesting event turnouts.

Share This Information
Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn

Read Related News On TDPel Media

Advertisement
Advertisement: Download Vital Signs App (VS App)

Leave a Reply