Officers from the Met Police have arrested 190 ‘anti-lockdown’ protesters as hundreds of people paraded through the streets of central London on the day (5th November) stricter COVID rules came into force in England.
Earlier in the evening, officers had urged demonstrators and protesters to go home as they took to the streets near Trafalgar Square.
Officers repeatedly warned those who had gathered that they were breaching COVID restrictions.
Protesters began to walk up The Strand soon after 6 pm, chanting “freedom” and “no more lockdown”.
The vast majority of them weren’t wearing any face coverings.
The new rules do not restrict you from leaving your house, but they do prohibit you from mixing with other households.
The Metropolitan Police said one of the 190 people arrested could be handed a £10,000 fine, which can be given to organisers of large gatherings.
The other 189 are being investigated for breaching the new Covid-19 regulations.
Breaches can be punished with a £200 fixed penalty notice.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said in a statement on Friday:
“There can be no excuse for breaching the regulations which have been designed to save lives and keep people safe.
“Those who came out to protest last night put their health at risk and, frustratingly, they put the health of London and our officers at risk, this is clearly unacceptable.
“A significant policing plan was in place last night and officers moved swiftly to speak with those who were intending to gather.
“Officers explained very clearly the regulations and unfortunately a number of people took deliberate steps to ignore the direction.
“Because of this, firm action was taken and a large number of arrests were made.
“We will not tolerate these dangerous breaches of the regulations.
“190 is a significant amount of arrests and we have a post-incident plan in place to ensure these investigations are progressed and the suspects are brought to justice.
“For anyone who plans to come out over the next four weeks, it is your responsibility to ensure we all comply with the current regulations.
“Officers will be out and about engaging with members of the public and the small minority who deliberately refuse to abide by the rules will see enforcement action being taken.”
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