A police chief has hit out at climate change protesters for going floppy when they face arrest and told them to “behave like adults”.
Sir Steve House said tactics used by Extinction Rebellion (XR) are “a flipping nuisance” and a “complete pain in the neck”.
The Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee some demonstrators go limp when officers try and detain them resulting in officers having to carry them off instead.
He told the room: “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.
“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.
“This is a real issue, and they will not do it, and it is a flipping nuisance.”
XR held 10 days of protests in central London at the start of September, with the latest figures from the Met showing that 680 people had been arrested.
These were for alleged offences including obstructing the highway, criminal damage and breaching the legal conditions set on the demonstration.
Sir Steve went on: “The problem with them going floppy and four officers carrying them away is that it looks to the general public like the police are overreacting here.
“We’re not making them go floppy – they’re just being a nuisance.”