38 people were arrested this morning (Tuesday 21 September), following the fourth day of protest activity on the M25 in Surrey.
The first call reporting protesters walking down the embankment to the hard shoulder between J9 and 10 was received at 7.57am, with the first officers arriving on the scene within three minutes. The protesters made their way onto both the anti-clockwise and clockwise carriageways of the motorway but by 8.15am, all protesters had cleared from the anti-clockwise carriageway and it had been fully reopened. Within another two minutes (8.17am), the protesters had been removed from the clockwise carriageway, which was also subsequently reopened.
Officers arrested 38 people on suspicion on a variety of offences including criminal damage, causing danger to road users, wilful obstruction of the highway and causing a public nuisance. They are all currently in custody.
Chief Superintendent Jerry Westerman said: “This is the second week of protest activity on one of the busiest roads in the region. Protesters have put their own lives, as well as those of others, at risk by walking onto both carriageways of the M25 during rush hour traffic. Fortunately, we were on scene within three minutes of the first call coming in and took swift and robust action to ensure protesters were removed from both carriageways after they ignored our requests to move on peacefully. The anti-clockwise carriageway was re-opened minutes later as soon as it was safe to do so – with the clockwise carriageway cleared two minutes after that.
“I would like to reassure the public that our priority is a quick and effective response, with disruption kept to a minimum. Officers responded quickly this morning to make arrests, as well as monitoring the wider motorway network.
“I would also like to reassure the public that we are continuing to work tirelessly to collect evidence to ensure anyone breaking the law is brought to justice. We are aware that a lot of video and dashcam footage was captured this morning and we would like to appeal to people to share this with us as a matter of urgency.”
Ch Supt Westerman added: “I would like to thank road users for their patience and understanding over the last two weeks; I appreciate the frustration you feel being caught up in delays, and I want to reassure you we’re doing all we can.
“I would also like to thank our colleagues in other forces and our other partner agencies like National Highways for their continued support.”
If you have any video or dashcam footage, please share it with us to help us to progress our investigation on the link below: