Kill the Bill protests: More than 100 arrested in London

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
People were arrested for violent disorder, assault on police and breach of Covid legislation

More than 100 people were arrested at a Kill the Bill protest in central London on Saturday, the Met Police have said.

The 107 arrests were for offences including breach of the peace, violent disorder, assault on police and breaches of Covid legislation.

One woman was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon after a knife was found.

The Met said the vast majority of people socially distanced and left the rally peacefully.

Commander Ade Adelekan, who led the policing operation for the protest, said most people worked with and listened to police officers.

Media caption,
Several hundred people marched in London chanting "Kill the Bill"

"However, as the afternoon wore on it became clear that a small number of people were intent on remaining to cause disruption to law-abiding Londoners," he said.

"Despite repeated instructions from officers to leave, they did not and, amid increasing levels of disorder, arrests were made.

"We should not allow the behaviour of a few individuals who attend these events with the purpose of committing criminal acts to taint the good behaviour of the majority who attended yesterday."

The protests were prompted by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which proposes to give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those which are deemed too noisy or a nuisance.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The protest in London was attended by several hundred people

Ministers and police have defended the proposals, saying they were needed to tackle demonstrations such the ones by Extinction Rebellion in 2019, where mass occupations of roads and bridges in London and elsewhere stretched police resources to the limit.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who had earlier addressed crowds in London's Parliament Square, said the bill was a "very dangerous, slippery slope".

Seven people were arrested at a Kill the Bill protest in Bristol, which was attended by about 1,500 people.

Protests were also held in Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Weymouth and Bournemouth, amongst other places.

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