30/11/2010

Arrests Made During Lewisham Protests

Police have made a number of arrests following protests over student fees and council cuts outside Lewisham Town Hall, in south east London.

The protest took place in Catford Road, during which time Lewisham Town Hall was hosting a council meeting in its Civic Suite.

A number of protestors scaled scaffolding on the front of the building and unfurled a banner.

During the protest, demonstrators forced their way into the building and into the council chamber.

Officers from the local borough were then joined by the Met's Territorial Support Group and other units were called to the scene.

Protestors set off what were believed to be smoke bombs or fireworks inside the foyer damaging the premises.

The situation was eventually brought under control and protestors dispersed peacefully.

Three men were arrested, a 21-year-old for violent disorder, a 36-year-old for violent disorder and trespass, and a 28-year-old for possession of an offensive weapon.

A 31-year-old woman was also arrested for aggravated trespass.

All are currently in custody at a south London police station.

In total 16 police officers were treated for minor injuries. Two male officers received hospital treatment, one for a broken finger and one for smoke inhalation. The rest were treated at the scene.

Lewisham Borough Commander, Jeremy Burton, said: "Unfortunately due to the actions of a minority of people present a number of my officers were injured whilst carrying out their police duties and helping to ensure that real protesters were able to carry out their right to peacefully protest.

Police in Lewisham will not tolerate violent behaviour of any sort and will investigate and take action against anyone, identified as having committed criminal acts during this incident."

Detectives from Lewisham CID are currently investigating.

(BMcN/GK)


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