Just Stop Oil protesters removed from Dartford Crossing and arrested

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: 'We cannot tolerate people carrying out activity which puts lives at risk and prevents people from going about their lives'

Published

Two Just Stop Oil activists who have blocked the Dartford Crossing for the past two days have agreed to end their protest, the group said.

Just Stop Oil tweeted: “Morgan and Marcus have agreed to cooperate with police and leave the bridge. #JustStopOil will continue in #CivilResistance to harmful politics and our criminal government. To protect our rights, freedoms and the rule of law”.

In a joint statement released by Just Stop Oil, the two protesters who had blocked the Dartford Crossing for the past two days said: “We successfully disrupted oil supplies to Kent and the South East for 36 hours and we are stepping down now but other supporters of Just Stop Oil will be stepping up day after day, causing disruption and putting their liberty on the line to demand that the Government ends new oil and gas.”

In a statement, Essex Police said the two Just Stop Oil protesters removed from the QEII Bridge had been arrested.

Just Stop Oil protesters
Just Stop Oil protesters

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: “We cannot tolerate people carrying out activity which puts lives at risk and prevents people from going about their lives.

“I know this has been really frustrating for the public and the disruption has negatively impacted on businesses and meant people have been late for, or missed, appointments.

“Alongside our partners, we worked hard to resolve this complex situation as quickly and safely as possible.

“Now the situation has been resolved, National Highways will make the decision about when and how the bridge can re-open.”

Mr Anslow added: “I want to again reiterate; we are not in any way anti-protest, and we will always seek to facilitate safe protest where we can. However, it is unacceptable for people to think they can put lives in danger with irresponsible actions. In this case, it is clear that we had to act, but that action had to be safe and responsible, and I want to again thank the public for their patience and understanding.”

Witnesses at the scene saw the raised platform brought in by Essex Police being elevated.

Traffic builds up as Just Stop Oil protesters continue their protest for a second day on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.
Traffic builds up as Just Stop Oil protesters continue their protest for a second day on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.

Downing Street said new offences and tougher police powers would help tackle the “guerrilla tactics” employed by Just Stop Oil.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman would not be drawn on the police response to the Dartford Crossing protests.

“I wouldn’t get into comment on individual operational policing decisions,” he said, but added: “I think we have seen in the past, too often, these protesters able to disrupt lives, cause mass misery and stop emergency services going about their work.”

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act and the Public Order Bill going through the Commons on Tuesday would beef up the powers available to officers.

“We are we are ensuring the police have even more powers so they can stop these sorts of guerrilla tactics,” the spokesman said.