Earlier this week, protest organisers at Extinction Rebellion made it clear that they intend to target the London Underground network.
Since these plans were announced, senior British Transport Police officers have engaged with members of Extinction Rebellion, in order to persuade them into stopping this highly disruptive and potentially criminal action.
Despite this engagement, we are led to believe that direct action on the London Underground is still being considered.
In response to this, throughout Thursday 17 October, BTP will increase the number of officers on patrol throughout the London Underground, DLR and other rail networks. These highly visible patrols are in place to keep the Tube and rail systems moving safely.
Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan, said: “Since Extinction Rebellion started their recent action, we’ve been working alongside our partners in London to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.
“We are really disappointed that they have since announced fresh action on the London Underground network. The Tube and rail networks are one of the greenest transport methods in London, any action goes against what they campaign for and will only cause misery for London’s commuters.
“In addition to this, we’ve made it clear to Extinction Rebellion that disrupting Tube services could create a dangerous scenario where some trains are stuck within tunnels with hundreds of passengers on board. Likewise, trespassing or obstructing Tube services could create a serious hazard to protestors.
“Nevertheless, we will have a number of additional officers on patrol, in particular those trained in protestor removal. Those who are responsible for unlawfully disrupting the network can expect to be arrested for obstructing the railway, a very serious offence which could lead to imprisonment.
“We hope that Extinction Rebellion will reconsider these plans, however if there is disruption we would ask passengers to check before they travel with Transport for London and National Rail Enquiries.