The Metropolitan Police (Met) on Saturday arrested 29 individuals after anti-lockdown protests across the city, and five officers were injured during the process.
On the same day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the capital city will enter full lockdown from Sunday and spend Christmas under lockdown due to a new variant of the CCP virus that can spread faster.
“UPDATE: We arrested 29 people today following demonstrations across the city. Unacceptably five of our officers were injured—thankfully their injuries are not serious,” the Met announced on Twitter just after 8 p.m.
UPDATE: We arrested 29 people today following demonstrations across the city. Unacceptably five of our officers were injured – thankfully their injuries are not serious.
— Metropolitan Police Events (@MetPoliceEvents) December 19, 2020
According to the Met, one of the individuals was arrested at Piccadilly Circus after he refused to hand to officers a knife he was carrying.
In the UK, it is illegal to carry a knife in public without a good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less.
A Met spokesperson told The Epoch Times on late Saturday that these individuals have not yet been charged.
In earlier updates, the Met suggested that people were arrested because they were not cooperating with the police.
One of the protests, outside Hamleys toy store in Regent Street, submitted a risk assessment as a result of police engagement and was deemed appropriate by Westminster City Council, the Met wrote on Twitter.
“It is now the responsibility of the organisers of the protest outside Hamleys to observe the risk assessment,” the tweet reads.
The Met said most protests cooperated with the police and submitted risk assessments, while some “refused to observe the requirements.”
From Wednesday to Friday, London went into Tier 3 of England’s tiered CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus alert system, meaning no more than six people can gather outdoors.
Under The Health Protection Regulations 2020, gatherings organised by a business; a charitable, benevolent, or philanthropic institution; a public body; or a political body can take place if the organiser carries out a risk assessment that satisfies relevant regulations and takes all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission.
On Nov. 28, when England was under the second national lockdown, the Met arrested 155 people during anti-lockdown protests in central London for offences including breaching lockdown rules, assaulting a police officer, and possession of drugs.
The Met said then that protest was not a permitted exemption to the prohibition on gatherings under the current coronavirus regulations, but Civil rights campaigners Liberty and Big Brother Watch challenged the Met’s claim, citing the clause about gatherings organised by “a political body.”
On Nov. 5, the Met arrested 190 anti-lockdown protesters for breaches of CCP virus restrictions.