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Hampstead community cops drafted in by Scotland Yard to police Extinction Rebellion protests

PUBLISHED: 17:11 09 October 2019

Police arrest a protester who had been glued to to others in a circle, adjacent to the Women of World War Two memorial on Whitehall, during the third day of an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Images

Police arrest a protester who had been glued to to others in a circle, adjacent to the Women of World War Two memorial on Whitehall, during the third day of an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Ward officers from across Camden have been drafted in to help police the non-violent Extinction Rebellion protests in Westminster.

A protester on a wooden structure on Birdcage Walk. Andrew Adonis says Extinction Rebellion needs to join the Remainers cause. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA ImagesA protester on a wooden structure on Birdcage Walk. Andrew Adonis says Extinction Rebellion needs to join the Remainers cause. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Images

Scotland Yard told this newspaper that "unprecedented demand" meant that cops would be moved across for a fortnight. This is weeks after the Ham&High revealed that Hampstead Town was back to its full complement of two dedicated ward officers (DWOs). Other wards have also recently had new recruits.

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Camden Safer Neighbourhood Board has said it was "unhappy" with the situation in an email to safer neighbourhood panel chairs this afternoon.

However it said it didn't object as long as officers were returned to normal duties afterwards, and views it as a "one-off."

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Due to the unprecedented demand expected over the next two weeks DWOs will be used to enable the MPS to meet the resourcing and skills need. They will only be considered for deployment once all other options have been exhausted. In the first instance they will be deployed within their own Basic Command Units to support response policing. As a last resort, if they have specialist skills required at the event, they will be deployed on Public Order Aid."

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