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A policing operation remains ongoing today (Tuesday) in response to an ongoing protest outside a business premises in Meridian Park, Blaby.
Yesterday around 200-250 people came to protest at the business with around 40 people remaining in the designated protest site this morning.
A separate group of people were encamped in the wooded area, with some of the protesters at height in the trees or in a fortified area.
The force has continued its proportionate approach to those that are protesting in the safe area designated for the protestors. This was the area families and children as well as other protestors successfully protested yesterday. There have been some tents erected in this area overnight, which is a breach of the notifications, but we have listened to community feedback and have tolerated so far the breach in order to facilitate and support the peaceful protest. We have not made arrests in this area, but have been engaging with protestors in this area and will continue to do so, using protest liaison officers to explain and engage about the police role and our intentions.
This morning officers entered the encampment as we assessed that those in the encampment were suspected of conspiring to commit criminal damage and were in breach of the S14 Public Order Act conditions. This morning during the police operation we have arrested 26 people in this area on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a criminal damage. Officers continue to work within the encampment area.
The arrests included the arrests of protestors who had locked themselves together in the middle of some roads. This caused disruption to local businesses and traffic in the area.
Deputy Chief Constable, David Sandall said: “We have been very aware of how our actions could be perceived, listening to community feedback in terms of trying to get the balance right in regard our approach to fulfil our legal obligation to support peaceful protest whilst also supporting the business from becoming a victim of crime again. We have not taken the same approach to all those protesting, but altered our approach to try and get the balance right.
“Our officers have and continue to work extremely hard as our policing operation remains ongoing and we continue to facilitate peaceful protest at the site while taking police action against anyone who commits a public offence.”