‘No laws’ were broken when pro-Palestinian protesters climbed on the Royal Artillery Memorial in London on Wednesday.
The Metropolitan Police said officers were ‘powerless’ against the demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament, sparking a debate about possible changes to legislation.
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said police recognised that while the climbing on a war memorial was not illegal, it was ‘unfortunate’ and ‘inflammatory in certain ways’. He said it was for the government to consider if officers should be given more powers to respond to protests.
‘The officer recognised that while it wasn’t illegal, it was unfortunate, inflammatory in certain ways. The officers at the scene asked them to get down and they did,’ he said.
‘So the officers intervened as officers often do to try and de-escalate the risk of conflict, even when there isn’t an explicit power to do it. So I think they did a sensible thing.’