The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Lisa Townsend has called on activists to halt their ‘reckless’ protests on the M25 motorway after a police officer was injured whilst responding in Essex.
The Commissioner said she shared the frustration of the vast majority of the public after a third day of Just Stop Oil protests caused widespread disruption across the road network in Surrey and surrounding counties.
She said the incident in Essex where a police motorcyclist was injured sadly highlights the dangerous situation the protests are creating and the risks for those police teams who are having to respond.
Activists scaled gantries again this morning at various locations around the Surrey stretch of the M25. All parts of the motorway were fully reopened by 9.30am and a number of arrests have been made.
Commissioner Lisa Townsend said: “What we have seen in Surrey and elsewhere over the last three days goes way beyond peaceful protest. What we are dealing with here is co-ordinated criminality by determined activists.
“Sadly, we have now seen an officer in Essex getting injured while responding to one of the protests and I would like to send my best wishes to them for a full and speedy recovery.
“The actions of this group are becoming more and more reckless and I call on them to halt these dangerous protests now. Enough is enough – people are getting hurt.
“I fully share the anger and frustration of those who have been caught up in this over the last three days. We have seen stories of people missing vital medical appointments and family funerals and NHS nurses unable to get into work – it is completely unacceptable.
“Whatever the cause these activists are trying to promote – the vast majority of the public are fed up with the disruption it is causing to the lives of thousands of people trying to go about their daily business.
“I know how hard our police teams have been working and I fully support their efforts to combat these protests. We have had teams patrolling the M25 from the early hours to try and disrupt the activities of this group, detain those responsible and ensure that the motorway can be reopened as soon as possible.
“But this is diverting our resources and putting an unnecessary strain on our officers and staff at a time when resources are already stretched.”