UK

Police slam green activists over ‘criminal’ Heathrow drone protest

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File photo dated 25/02/17 of a drone flying in Hanworth Park in west London, as environmental campaigners from Heathrow Pause - a splinter of the Extinction Rebellion movement - have said they plan to fly drones around Heathrow airport in a bid to ground flights at the transport hub.
Campaigners from Heathrow Pause have stated they’ll fly drones across the airport(Picture: PA Wire)

Police have accused local weather activists of staging a ‘deliberate and criminal’ assault on UK infrastructure with a deliberate drone protest at Heathrow.

Scotland Yard chiefs warned activists from an Extinction Rebellion splinter group will probably be arrested in the event that they fly drones close to the airport with out permission on Friday.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor prompt the stunt risked attracting ‘would-be terrorists’ in addition to critical security issues and disruption.

Heathrow Pause stated they plan to interrupt the regulation however are ‘utterly committed to the principles of non-violence, transparency and accountability and to cooperating with the police as far as is possible.’

A spokesperson informed Metro.co.uk: ‘We appreciate the police have a job to do – it’s their job to arrest us and we now have no drawback with them doing that.’

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Passengers in Terminal 2 at Heathrow airport after departures were temporarily suspended following "reports of drones" at the airport.
Terminal 2 at Heathrow airport, the place green activists plan to trigger disruption on Friday (Picture: PA Archive)

He added: ‘Their families are under threat [from climate change] along with everybody else’s. We’re all on this collectively’.

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Heathrow Pause activists met with police yesterday, together with Roger Hallam, broadly often known as the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion.

Hallam stated: ‘I’ll be flying a drone at head peak, far from Heathrow. It’ll be 100 per cent protected and 100 % unlawful.’

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Taylor at present stated the group had not informed police which areas they might goal.

He added: ‘As a result we’ve needed to put a big policing plan in place that drains sources from throughout the Metropolitan Police.

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Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters stage a "die in" Leeds City Centre in Yorkshire, as Scotland Yard has pledged to do everything in its power to stop a repeat of the large-scale disruption caused by XR in London earlier this year. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 18, 2019. Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said the group's tactics - which included activists blocking roads and chaining themselves to buildings and trains in a deliberate bid to be arrested - have changed the protesting landscape. See PA story POLICE ExtinctionRebellion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Heathrow Pause has been described as an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion (Picture: PA Wire)

‘We shouldn’t be having to place vital numbers to cope with illegal exercise when the protest could possibly be executed otherwise.’

Taylor stated officers had a ‘robust’ plan in place to cope with criminality ‘quickly and efficiently’ after finding out final 12 months’s drone disruption at Gatwick.

A spread of counter-drone measures have been accessible to officers, who will probably be overlaying the airport and the encircling areas, he stated.

He added: ‘We are going to do everything we can to prevent disruption and I’m assured we will probably be profitable in that.’

Asked if the protest could possibly be utilized by a ‘would-be terrorist’ concentrating on Heathrow, he stated: ‘Again it just highlights another risk that this protest group are potentially attracting – which is why we are urging them not to do it.’

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The AUDS (Anti-UAV Defence System) anti-drone system, which can detect, track and ground drones, deployed on top of a vehicle at Heathrow airport in London. Departures from the airport were temporarily suspended on January 8 after reports of drone activity.
An anti-drone system, which may detect, observe and floor drones, deployed on prime of a car at Heathrow airport in London (Picture: PA Archive)

Heathrow Pause has criticised the Heathrow growth as ‘the biggest carbon-intensive infrastructure project in Europe’.

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Hallam stated: ‘What needs to happen is thousands of people need to create mass economic disruption and go to prison in order to force governments to protect their people and to enact legislation that will rapidly reduce carbon emissions. Simple as that.’

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