Extinction Rebellion protesters - what to do?

We used to have holding cells where we could hold prisoners.......
How many buildings have The Met been forced to sell off in recent years to avoid further swingeing staff cuts?




No danger exists to anyone from XR, that is part of their strategy. Rioters are relatively straightforward to deal with if you have the political will and resources.

Nicely mannered, sometimes elderly civil disobedience practitioners who are queuing up to volunteer to be arrested and who then refuse a caution and plead not guilty in order to clog up courts, present different challenges.
The Police are historically under-resourced, overburdened with red tape and overstretched, I doubt anyone rational thinks otherwise.

The only way to tackle something like the XR mob who (as you've correctly said aim to utterly clog the system and make a total arse of themselves) would be a contingency emergency method (fighting fire with fire as it were), if the capability in law to use such a method exists would have to be decided by competent legal advice of course.

1. Large facility such as a sports hall/stadium equipped with prefabricated cells (communal allowable under PACE?) with a staff to handle incoming arrests purely of protesters on a fast track methodology.
2. On site special courts capable of fast tracking the prosecution cases with guidance that custodial sentences are a last resort (these aren't violent criminals after all) and empowered to hand out chunky fines and costs and orders excluding the convicted from the London area. Rapidly escalating fines for repeat offenders.
3. On site staff from Benefits agencies to look into claimants histories (may catch some fraudsters that way) and work with the on site court to sequester benefits payments for fines.
4. Contractor such as Group 4 on tap to ship those remanded/convicted for custodials to a prison with capacity (capacity is undoubtedly a real bitch).

Absolute bare minimum of process and delay is the only was I can see to mitigate the overwhelm tactics that XR are using, make it uncomfortable and expensive to protest this way.
It would not be cheap to implement this contingency, but it would be cheaper than the current scenario and stands a chance to put all but the most hard core off. Most importantly it would free the Police up to do their real jobs which are already hard enough and at least their custody suites would have the capacity to deal with the nasty bastards.
I liked this part of the report and the old dears quote:-
"Pam Williams, 71, glued herself to the spot where her tent stood as police arrived to take it.
She said protesters in Trafalgar Square were only given 30 minutes' notice before the 21:00 BST deadline.
"I feel possibly that they've been approached by people we've upset today, maybe the finance sector or the banking sector," she said."

Upset the banking and finance sectors? How about pissing off most Londoners trying to go about their daily business and get to work!
I picked up on that too- in the minds of some of these clowns banking and finance people are still tantamount to being paid up members of the Third Reich. Instead of the generators of a good proportion on this country’s wealth. Ho hum.
The elephant (soon to be not) in the room, is that there are just too many people. If XR want to help they’d be better off making like lemmings at Beachy Head than cluttering up already crowded cities.


Don't forget the millions spent on pronouncing today as Pronoun Day.
In deepest dark Toronto during one of Silly Sod days where the black clad urban protesters caused much damage and torched police vehicles etc because of Capitalism etc -- the Metro Police took lessons from the London police and employed 'kettling" techniques to herd protesters and gawking spectators into previously prepared temp holding pens inside former factory sites (ironic?) and sorted them out at a less hurried pace. Of course some entrapped gawkers didn't like this but neither did people going to and fro from work or businesses whose windows were smashed and interiors looted.
Couple of quick points in reference to yours and some other comments:

1. Police don't always have to arrest. There are often other ways to deal with offences, be it via a Fixed Penalty Notice or a Recorded Police Warning (in Scotland). Of course, it depends what legislation has been enacted as part of a wide operation.

2. The way these protests will be dealt with will be dictated by the Gold Commander (or whatever the English equivalent is) who will have laid out their strategic objectives and tactical plans. Part of those plans may be that arrests must be balanced to the threat posed and the resource demand. I.e is it more worthwhile to arrest and lose two officers or keep two officers there and deal with the nominal in another way.

3. The impact on daily business is considered for any protest - how will it impact on the overall priority of keeping people safe? If the protest doesn't have a threat to life, then every day policing where there is TTL will take priority every time, and whilst XR are busy going about their business, there will still be dozens of calls coming in for all over the city with everything from mental health, robberies, assaults, domestics, etc.

4. There is a welfare of prisoners SOP which means we cannot do things like take them far away and dump them. As with anything, police have a duty of care to anyone who comes in to their custody, and we have to consider the long game of the consequence of our actions. As long as I can take them to a police office, I've discharged my duty. What custody does with them is down to them and their responsibility. If however, I cannot take them to a police station, then unless it's back home, a hospital or into the care of a responsible person, I'm not taking them anywhere.

5. There really isn't the resources available for this. We had a request last week for a three figure sum of Public Order officers to head south to help out. That's three figures of operational frontline cops gone from an already overstretched frontline capability in Scotland. That's equivalent of six or seven shifts worth of cops at full manning, or as is more the reality, about a dozen shifts at realistic manning levels.

6. Their plan to overwhelm the system is effective and does work, hence why not as many of them are being taken away as could be - the main offenders will be prioritised over those just being there and waving a flag.

7. If you've got a problem with all of the above, hound your MP for proper investment in policing across the board, as well as every Force in the UK to be dragged through job evaluation to get people out of office roles and back onto the street.

ETA: The reality of it is, there is crime on our streets across the whole country. The reasons are many, but one of the biggest reasons is the perceived lack of risk.

The only way to change that perception is to have more effective policing of our streets. That doesn't mean intelligence led policing - that's code for making low resources more effective. If there were more officers on patrol, be it on foot or in vehicles, there would be more resource supply to answer the calls. This would then leave more resources free to handle proactive policing, which is a dying art.

The police is becoming more and more like the fire service - they don't go looking for fires, they wait for a fire to happen. We want to be in our areas, know who our problems are, and tackle them, but we can't because there aren't enough of us.

The recruitment process is also broken as people are coming in who are not suitable for a violent, public facing job, but we need to take whoever we can get. Once in, they last a couple of years maybe before they scrabble for an office role to get away from the hard, unrewarding work.

It's no different than in the army, where the guy on the ground is paid the same as the guy sat back in the main base fingering a RAF tart.

So there are lots of issues and problems, resources (and the quality of resources) being key to it all.
Your empirical knowledge and well founded comments have no place here!

be gone with you !!
In the eighties when these extinction clowns were demonstrating under the CND banner and there were mass protests the police were more than able to cope because they were resourced properly. Plenty of police officers, back then the Met had a level of around 20,000 officers, plenty of police stations with cells, the Met owned their own cellular police trucks. There was a massive CND demo timed to coincide with visit of Ronald Reagan and other world leaders to UK for a major conference. There was no need for outside aid except for the lunatics from the City of London Police who always rocked up if there was a faint chance of disorder, shifts were at minimum strength on division leave was cancelled but I don't think 12 hour shifts were required yet the Met was more than able to cope, why is this not the case now? The people who have allowed this to happen both politicians and senior police officers, should be held accountable. n


Not like Police numbers being too low were an unknown risk, London especially has such a large population it's a screwup waiting to happen.

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