Braverman erupts at number of police hours spent dealing with Just Stop Oil mob

Home Secretary spells out costs of climate protests

Suella Braverman has revealed the true cost of policing Just Stop Oil protesters in how it is distracting thousands of police officer hours from tackling crime in their communities.

The Home Secretary told MPs today that in the last six weeks alone more than 13,000 police officer shifts have been used in tackling Just Stop Oil protesters in 156 separate incidents around the country.

Ms Braverman was answering questions from Tory MP Lee Anderson who told Express.co.uk that it showed that protesters are distracting valuable police time in tackling crime.

But he added: “A few months in the clink will make them think again.”

In the committee session, Mr Anderson pointed out that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley recently appeared in front of the committee and he said “there was some confusion” about whether police could tackle the protesters.

He asked: “Could you please confirm that the police now have the powers to stop protesters stopping the citizens of this country going about their daily business?”

The question was aimed at the increasing number of roads being blocked by climate change extremists and videos emerging of the police not just standing back and letting them cause disruption but intervening against people who actually try to remove them.

Ms Braverman responded that she believes the police do have the powers and suggested that they need to act more often like they did when they arrested protesters during the coronation in London.

She pointed out that after last night when the government’s statutory instrument which reclarifies the definition of serious disruption completed its passage through Parliament “enabling the police to take more robust and direct action when it comes to slow walkers and those bringing misery and chaos to the law-abiding majority.”

She added: “Police do have the full armoury of legal tools at their disposal.”

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Mr Anderson pushed Ms Braverman if she would “come down hard” on police forces which failed to use powers.

Ms Braverman insisted that the police are operationally independent but admitted to being “incredibly frustrated at scenes of militant protesters disrupting people getting to school, work or hospital appointments. We cannot see that.”

She went on: “Yes we want to see a more swift and robust response from the police. I think there is room for improvement personally.”

But she said that the police “have done a very difficult job well.”

She said: “If you look at the coronation policing of that event was very successful. It went off unimpeded and people were able to enjoy that historic event.

“That is thanks to incredible hard work and initiative deployed by the police.

“If you look at recent protests by Just Stop Oil the police have invested huge amounts of time and money.

“In the last six weeks, there have been 156 protest incidents, 13,000 police office shifts have been used on policing those protests, there have been hundreds of events and it has cost millions of pounds.

“The police are trying and they are trying hard.”

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