Just Stop Oil is expected to begin two weeks of action in London from today, with Metropolitan Police urging the public not to take matters into their own hands.
The activist group is planning a fresh wave of disruption in the run up to Christmas, having “already caused significant disruption” to the city and the M25 in recent weeks, said Met Police commander Karen Findlay.
She said that, since October 1, nearly 12,000 officer shifts have been required to respond to the activist group, diverting attention from areas like knife crime.
“We understand they are now set to cause further disruption in London in the run-up to Christmas, from 28 November to 14 December. However, we are again fully prepared.
“We will always try to work with organisers so that protests can go ahead safely. However, Just Stop Oil do not engage with police in advance to share where they may protest or how many may be involved. As their actions are spontaneous and could take place anywhere across the capital, we are having to use more officers to respond, regardless of whether any action takes place or not.
🛣️ JUST STOP OIL STANDS READY TO RESPOND AS SUNAK PLANS FOR NEW OIL AND GAS
— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) November 27, 2022
“These are officers who could be dealing with issues that matter to local communities such as knife crime, safeguarding and responding to burglaries. Since 1 October, 11,923 officer shifts have been required to respond to Just Stop Oil activity.”
Findlay urged the public not to take matters into their own hands, despite the disruption.
“I completely understand the frustration and anger felt by the public who are seriously disrupted by a relatively small number of protesters and their deliberate tactics.
“Activists are affecting people’s businesses, their lives, whether they are on their way to a doctor, a long awaited hospital appointment, on their way to work, to interviews, or to collect children. Therefore, I again urge Just Stop Oil organisers to engage with us to minimise disruption to Londoners.”
It comes as Home Secretary Suella Braverman plans talks with police chiefs on tackling demonstrations.
In response to those plans, Just Stop Oil said: “The government can end the disruption today by calling a halt to new oil and gas licences and consents.”