Met Police blames arrest of Royal superfan on other force
Met Police breaks silence on arrest of 36-year-old Royal superfan who spent coronation in holding cell with Just Stop Oil activists – and blames it on other force
- Met Police say officer who made arrest was ‘mutual aid from Lincolnshire Police’
- Alice Chambers was locked up for 13 hours after being mistaken for a protestor
- The 36-year-old said she continually tried to explain that she wasn’t protesting
The Met Police has broken its silence around the arrest of a Royal superfan who was locked up for 13 hours after standing next to Just Stop Oil protesters ahead of the King’s coronation.
Alice Chambers, 36, said she had no idea she was sitting beside the eco activists as they had not yet begun their planned protest as police swarmed on the group on The Mall at 9am last Saturday.
Despite her repeated protestations, she was mistaken for a member of the group and handcuffed before being led away from the scene by officers.
But according to the Met, Ms Chambers was not arrested by a member of their force, but by an officer from Lincolnshire Police.
In a statement, the force said: ‘We understand public concern around the arrest of a woman in The Mall on Saturday, May 6.
Alice Chambers, 36, said she had no idea she was sitting beside the eco activists as they had not yet begun their planned protest as police swarmed on the group on The Mall at 9am last Saturday
Despite her repeated protestations, she was mistaken for a member of the group and handcuffed before being led away from the scene by officers
READ MORE: Angry royal fans drown out Just Stop Oil protesters by singing ‘God Save the King’
‘Police arrested a group of people in The Mall who we believe had the intention of disrupting the Coronation. There is an ongoing investigation following those arrests.
‘Unfortunately, the woman was among those arrested. She was released subsequently with no further action.
‘Officers involved in the safety and security operation acted on information available to them.
‘The officer who made the arrest was on mutual aid from Lincolnshire Police, which is why we remain in close contact with Lincolnshire Police regarding a complaint.
‘We regret that she was not able to watch the Coronation.
‘Officers have spoken with her to explain our decisions and the next steps.’
Earlier this week, Ms Chambers appeared on BBC Newsnight to recount her ordeal.
‘The next minute I just realised that the police had swooped in and started grabbing a whole heap of people, and unfortunately I was one of the people they grabbed,’ she said.
‘They handcuffed me straight away and then pulled me out of the crowd and put me against a barrier with a whole heap of other protesters.
‘I tried to say anything I could to say I wasn’t part of that group… nothing seemed to be able to be said that made a difference really.’
Ms Chambers is a keen Royalist who has attended a number of Royal events over the years
Anti-monarchy protestors were out in force before and during the Coronation celebrations
Her finger prints were taken and she was initially charged with ‘potential to the disturb the peace’ and then later received a follow-up charge on conspiracy to commit public nuisance.
She was repeatedly quizzed, physically searched, locked in a cell and officers took her mugshot, fingerprints and DNA, before being interviewed at around 7pm.
She said that she explained why she was there and the officers ‘looked at me in shock’. They then apologised to her and tried to ‘process me as quickly as I could’, but it still took another couple of hours before she could go home.
It comes after the police faced a huge backlash over the arrests and treatment of various protesters during the Coronation celebrations.
Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley said his officers had to target a ‘criminal network’ aiming to disrupt the Coronation, with people posing as stewards caught with bottles of paint they intended to throw at the parade.
The Commissioner said police received ‘serious and reliable’ intelligence that activists planned to use rape alarms and loud hailers to disrupt the event, ‘extensively vandalise monuments’ and ‘throw paint at the procession’.
In total 64 people were arrested over the weekend, 52 over concerns that the coronation may be disrupted.
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