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35 Arrests Following Protests at M25 Service Stations

Published on: 28 Apr, 2022
Updated on: 1 May, 2022

35 people are now in custody after being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage and aggravated trespass following protests at Clacket Lane and Cobham Services earlier today (April 28). 

Forecourt areas at both locations have been cleared and reopened after officers safely removed the protesters using specialist removal equipment, including a protester who had glued himself to the top of a lorry.

Significant damage was caused to the pumps on both forecourts, with a total of 35 pumps damaged at Cobham Services, and a further 20 pumps damaged at Clacket Lane near Westerham. The HGV pumps at both sites were not targeted and remain open.

Cobham Services, M25 Google Maps

Officers were called to both service stations just after 7am following reports that a large number of protesters were at the sites and were glueing themselves to the pumps, to forecourt signs and to vehicles. They were also blocking access and stopping motorists from using the pumps.

Superintendent Graham Barnett said: “Around 40 officers were involved following the activity by protest group Just Stop Oil at Cobham and Clacket Lane Services earlier today. Police responded after reports that pumps were being smashed up and that protesters were gluing themselves to pumps, vehicles and forecourt signs.

“We appreciate that this caused considerable disruption to motorists attempting to use the services and to the petrol stations themselves, who will also have suffered a huge financial loss as a result of this activity.

The filling station at Cobham Services Google Street View

“All protesters have now been removed and 35 people are in custody. Both forecourts have reopened but unfortunately, a large number of pumps have been damaged which means they have not currently in use. However, the HGV pumps were not targeted and are still open for lorry drivers.

“We do appreciate that this incident has taken some time to resolve but given the circumstances, we were required to use officers trained in using specialist de-bonding equipment to safely remove the protesters, and this is a lengthy and complex process. Officers are also required to act within the law and are accountable for the decisions they make and the tactics they use.

“While we are required to facilitate peaceful protest, we will always take action against those who break the law and significantly impact on the lives and livelihoods of others, and clearly if officers are caught up dealing with protest activity, they aren’t elsewhere preventing crime and responding as quickly to reports from the public.”

PCC Lisa Townsend

Police & Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend said: “Yet again this morning we have seen damage caused and disruption to ordinary people’s lives in the name of protest.

“The selfish actions of these protesters are completely unacceptable and I am pleased to see the swift response by Surrey Police who are working hard to minimise the impact on those using these areas. Unfortunately, some of these protesters have glued themselves to various objects and removing them safely is a complex process that will take some time.

“The right to peaceful and lawful protest is important in a democratic society but the actions this morning step far beyond what is acceptable and serves only to cause disruption to those people going about their daily business.

“This has again resulted in valuable police resources being used to respond to the situation when their time could have been better spent policing in our communities.”

 

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test 2 Responses to 35 Arrests Following Protests at M25 Service Stations

  1. Mark Stamp Reply

    April 28, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    As much as I deplore criminality as part of any protest, it is ironic to hear the Conservative PCC say that the right to protest is important in democracy when the Conservative government has just enacted a law restricting the rights of protesters and she herself does not respect the democratic complaints council committee.

    The shameful erosion of rights and decline in decency and standards from our public officials over the last few years is what is fuelling more extreme protests.

  2. Valerie Thompson Reply

    April 29, 2022 at 11:09 pm

    These stupid people should be left, glued to whatever they have fixed themselves on, for 24 hours. No loo, no food, no water, no chair. And why do the police take such care in unglueing them? It would be the protestors’ fault if their hands were damaged while removing the glue. It might be a lesson to them.

    I’m glad that so many were arrested. They have no consideration for other people’s lives and needs. They should be locked up for as long as possible.

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