Police Intervene in Disorder at London St George's Day Event

Clashes erupt at St George's Day event in London as far-right groups disrupt police cordon, leading to arrests and concerns over managing volatile protests.

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Police Intervene in Disorder at London St George's Day Event

Police Intervene in Disorder at London St George's Day Event

The Metropolitan Police had to intervene in disorder that broke out at a St George's Day event in Whitehall, London on Sunday. According to the police, mounted officers on horses were forced to step in after a group broke through a police cordon that was formed to stop people who had moved past an allocated area in Richmond Terrace for the event.

The event, which was expected to be attended by far-right groups and groups linked to football clubs, turned violent before it was even scheduled to begin at 3 pm. The Metropolitan Police posted a video showing officers forming a cordon, but a group of around a dozen people forcefully breached it before mounted officers intervened to restore order.

At least six people were arrested in the aftermath of the violence, including one on suspicion of assault, three on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker, one on suspicion of animal cruelty after a police horse was targeted, and one on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

The Metropolitan Police said they had been in discussions with the organizer of the Richmond Terrace event and imposed conditions under the Public Order Act to prevent disorder and minimize disruption. A Section 60 order, giving officers additional search powers, was also put in force in the area to deter crime and disorder.

Why this matters: The incident highlights the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement in managing potentially volatile events and protests, particularly those involving far-right groups. It also underscores the importance of effective communication and coordination between event organizers and police to ensure public safety and minimize disruption.

After the initial altercation, a group gathered on Whitehall opposite Downing Street, where there was a large police presence. Speeches were given, including by Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League, who had been cleared of breaching a dispersal order at court earlier that day. "We've beaten the Metropolitan Police," Robinson told the crowd. The police maintained a significant presence in the area, but no further incidents were reported after the initial disorder.

Key Takeaways

  • Police intervened in disorder at a St George's Day event in Whitehall, London.
  • Mounted officers had to restore order after a group breached a police cordon.
  • Six people were arrested, including one for assaulting a police horse.
  • Police imposed conditions under the Public Order Act to prevent further disorder.
  • Tommy Robinson addressed the crowd, claiming they had "beaten the Metropolitan Police".