Just Stop Oil expected to wreak havoc in London with up to 900 police officers to patrol this weekend
The group staged 32 days of disruption from the end of September and throughout October
Up to 900 extra Metropolitan Police officers will be on the streets of London over the weekend to deal with renewed Just Stop Oil demonstrations.
The group staged 32 days of disruption from the end of September and throughout October, which the Met said resulted in 677 arrests with 111 people charged, and officers working a total of 9,438 extra shifts.
Just Stop Oil campaigners paused their activities earlier this week, saying they would give the Government until Friday evening to respond to their request to stop investing in new oil and gas.
They are expected to renew road-blocking demonstrations on Saturday, when there will also be train strikes in the capital and across the country.
Speaking outside Scotland Yard on Friday, Met Commander Jon Savell asked the public to “bear with” police tackling any unlawful protests, and said there would be “up to 900” extra officers deployed in London this weekend.
“We will have hundreds of extra officers on duty this weekend in and around the areas where we believe that they will be, and we will be responding to them as and when they appear,” he told the PA news agency.
“We will help facilitate them protesting lawfully, but where they cross the boundaries we will act quickly.”
He added: “It is unfortunate that it coincides with the train strikes and there will inevitably be protests in the roads and some of the more iconic places.
“We will work quickly to try and minimise that disruption, and we would just ask the public to bear with us.
“But if there are issues, be reassured that we have hundreds of extra officers on duty, we will be there, and we will take action where it’s needed.”
Asked about the impact of the protests on the Met’s capacity to police serious and violent crime, Mr Savell said the force would be “able to manage” and community policing would “continue at the levels we would expect to deliver”.
“It does take up a lot of resources, not only for us but for the lawyers and the court systems,” he said.
“That is time and resources that could be better used in tackling community crime, robberies and violence that is a priority for us, but we are here to deal with anything that is unlawful and the public can rely on us.”