Nearly 700 arrested over Extinction Rebellion protests in London – police

At least 680 people have been arrested over 10 days of Extinction Rebellion protests in London, Scotland Yard has revealed.

But police are warning that that number is likely to rise over the next few days.

The environmental demonstrations ended on Thursday with topless women protesting outside the Palace of Westminster.

Graffiti was daubed on the plinth of a statue of Sir Winston Churchill, which read: “Is a racist”.

The Metropolitan Police said on Friday 680 people have so far been arrested in connection with the protests.

One man was detained on suspicion of causing criminal damage to the monument of the former prime minister in Parliament Square.

Others have been held on suspicion of obstructing the highway and breaching conditions of protest set under the Public Order Act since the actions began on September 1.

Commander Jane Connors described the protests as a “significant challenge” during the current public health crisis.

She added: “The public have a right to protest, but they do not have a right to cause disruption to the communities and businesses across London.

“That is why we took swift action to make a number of arrests.

“This has been a large policing operation and we will continue to investigate those who we suspect to have committed offences, so the number of arrests is likely to rise.”