Four arrested as police work to stop disruption of boat race

The arrests were made yesterday (Saturday, March 30) at events including the annual Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race in west London, a number of football matches, and a planned march by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), as well as a pro-Israel counter-protest, both in central London.

In the run up to the event, police became aware that protestors may have been seeking to take action to disrupt the annual men’s and women’s Boat Race.

Four people were arrested in relation to this and police dispersal powers were used to ensure that the race concluded without any interruption.

Officers also arrested a number of people at the protests in central London, including for hate crime, public order and terrorism offences.

Protests in central London concluded earlier this evening and all roads have reopened.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Valentine, who is overseeing policing across London for the Easter weekend, said: “As expected, London has been extremely busy today, with police officers working hard to ensure major events could take place safely, as well as officers policing their local communities right across the Capital.

“I have been clear in my intention for this weekend that we will not tolerate anyone who is intent on carrying out criminality or causing any form of disorder or anti-social behaviour.

“We have made arrests for a variety of offences with the prospect of further arrests to come as a result of ongoing enquiries.

“Swift and decisive action by officers also ensured that the annual Boat Race was not disrupted for spectators at home and abroad.

“I’d like to thank the officers, both from the Met and other forces for their hard work as they continue to keep London safe across the Easter weekend.”

The arrests made include:

  • Two people were arrested for being equipped to lock on under section 2 of the Public Order Act 2023 near the Boat Race.
  • Two men were also arrested under section 1 of the Public Order Act 2023 for gluing themselves to Chiswick Bridge.
  • A man was arrested at the PSC march under section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000 inviting support for a proscribed organisation.
  • Two arrests at the PSC march under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 for causing harassment, alarm and distress.
  • One arrest at the PSC march under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986 for a racially aggravated public order offence.

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