For the past six weeks, our officers have been responding to pockets of protest across the capital by the protest group Just Stop Oil.
Latest figures (as of Thursday, 8 June) released today show that officers have been moved from dealing with local policing priorities for the equivalent of almost 13,770 shifts.
So far, this operation has also cost more than £4.5m.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, said: “In deploying the new tactics of moving slowly in front of traffic along highways, Just Stop Oil’s intent has been clear on disrupting road users.
“This has caused significant impact to the public and officers have been responding as swiftly as possible once aware of the incidents.”
In a lot of cases, putting in conditions from Section 12 of the Public Order Act has encouraged protesters to exit the highway within minutes; from the 156 slow marches that have taken place, 125 Section 12 of the Public Order Act conditions have been imposed.
In some cases there has been cause to arrest those not complying. Further figures show that of the 86 arrests made within this operation (mostly for breaching Section 12 conditions) 49 charges have been made.
DAC Adelekan continued: “We know that this action has been very frustrating for the public who just want to carry on with their day-to-day business.
“We would urge the public not to intervene or take matters into their own hands, but to call the police, let us know where the incident is and we will get to the scene quickly.
“It may look like we are not responding quickly enough, however policing protests is complex and there are steps officers must take to make sure our response is lawful and appropriate.
“You can see from both the arrest and charge figures that we are taking this operation very seriously, and once a protest is deemed to have caused serious disruption or may do so, we are taking swift action to stop it.”