One of the UK’s most senior police officers has ranted about the “floppy” tactic used by radical Extinction Rebellion protesters during arrests, urging them to stop making additional work for bobbies and “behave like adults”.
Speaking at the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee on Wednesday, Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House blasted Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists for letting their bodies go “floppy” when officers attempt to arrest them.
He said many XR protesters go limp during arrests and must therefore be carried away by multiple officers.
We have asked them to stop being floppy. It might seem like a silly thing to say, but when we arrest them and pick them up they go all floppy, which is why you see four or five officers carrying them away.
House slammed the tactic as an unnecessary nuisance and urged protesters to “behave like adults” instead.
“It’s a complete waste of officers’ time, and a complete pain in the neck. If they could just behave like sensible adults – you’ve made your point, you wanted to be arrested, you’ve been arrested, get up and walk away with one officer and stop wasting police time,” the officer said.
Apart from creating additional work for the officers, it also damages the image of the police, House said, as multiple cops handling a single protester makes it appear that they are “overreacting.”
“We’re not making them go floppy – they’re just being a nuisance,” he stressed.
The XR activists held a marathon 10-day protest in central London in the early days of September. They demanded immediate action against climate change, staging provocative stunts, including having topless women chaining themselves to the fence surrounding Parliament. One teen XR activist was charged with vandalizing the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square.
According to the latest official figures, around 680 people have been arrested during the protests, with Home Secretary Priti Patel saying the activists threatened to unleash “anarchy on our streets.”
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