(The Telegraph) Six protesters who police feared were planning to disrupt the royal wedding have been arrested by Scotland Yard as the officers begin their “pre-emptive strike” against potential anarchists.
The six were arrested in the past week in connection with alleged public order offences they are said to have committed at the TUC march last month.
But officers moved to arrest them this week as they feared the group were planning further disruption at the royal wedding on Friday. The six have been issued with bail conditions stopping them from entering central London on the day of the wedding.
It brings the total number of anarchists banned from London on the day of the wedding to 68. And Scotland Yard sources confirmed that further arrests are planned in the coming days as they move to minimise the potential of trouble for Prince William and Kate Middleton on the big day.
Meanwhile officers announced that a proposed protest during the wedding by extremist group Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) has been rejected.
But a new request, by a group thought to want to protests about issues in the Middle East, have now lodged a request to protest on the day.
MAC had asked to protest outside Westminster Abbey on the day of the wedding.
After meetings with the group, Scotland Yard agreed they could protest there, but not until hours after the wedding had finished. The group refused and did not turn up to a meeting on Thursday to negotiate with officers.
Then on Saturday, a man handed in a request at Hackney police station in east London stating that he wanted to protest outside the Abbey on Friday. After investigating officers discovered he was linked to a protest movement concerned about activities in the Middle East.
Officers are yet to decide whether to allow the protest although it is unlikely they will allow it to go ahead during the wedding.
Scotland Yard has also appealed to members of the public to be its “eyes and ears” and to alert officers of any potential trouble they see in the crowd.
Lynne Owens, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of the policing operation on the day, said: “If you see anything or anyone in the crowd that is acting suspiciously, please bring it to the earliest attention of our officers… they are there to help you.
“We are very clear that we want this to be a safe, secure and happy event and we intend to act robustly, quickly and firmly if anyone engages in any criminal activity.”
The Metropolitan Police says there is still no specific terror threat to the royal wedding.
By Mark Hughes, Crime Correspondent