So far, eco-zealots from Just Stop Oil have cost the Metropolitan Police £20 million in taxpayer money, with time spent policing rallies amounting to 300 officers taken off frontline duty every day.
Officers have had to carry the eco-clowns off the roadways because they refuse to engage with the police as a result of the activists’ protestations.
Police have been granted more authority to pull them off the streets they are blocking as people go about their daily lives.
Since last October, 657 Just Stop Oil demonstrators have been arrested and 338 have been charged for unauthorised protests. The remaining 308 are currently out on bail.
To date, the group has received £19.9 million in funding, with £3.5 million spent since October.
Police have the authority to arrest anyone who “interferes with the use or operation of any key national infrastructure in England and Wales.”
Some people have been arrested multiple times and are facing multiple counts.
On one instance, the police used the additional powers to make 79 arrests in 20 minutes to disperse a protest in downtown London’s Whitehall.
This autumn, the Met claimed 10,500 officers’ shifts were used, costing at least £3.5 million.
‘The new Public Order Act permits us to deal with persons who are causing damage to critical national infrastructure,’ Mr Gordon added.
‘It does allow us to deal with persons who come onto the roadways and cause a blockage much more proactively.’