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Climate Protests in Cambridge: Police Response

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:01 pm on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 4:01 pm, 3rd March 2020

Clearly, a crime happening in front of the police is different from a crime being reported to the police. Obviously, every crime is investigated. Speaking from memory, some tens of thousands of people are prosecuted for theft and burglary every year. Of course, one reason why we are recruiting 20,000 extra police officers is to make sure that crimes can be even more thoroughly investigated than they are already. None the less, there is an expectation that the police will take action in relation to all crimes that they are aware of, particularly when the police have direct evidence in front of them that a crime is taking place.

In relation to the Trinity College incident, although arrests were not made immediately, subsequently, as one Member said, three protesters were arrested and charged with criminal damage. They have been released on bail and will appear at Cambridge magistrates court on 30 March. In relation to the incident at the Schlumberger oil service facility, a total of five people were arrested and charged with offences, including criminal damage, and again they will appear at Cambridge magistrates court on 30 March. In relation to the episode at the Shell petrol station, five arrests were made and four people were subsequently charged. The fact that people were arrested and charged is something that we can be pleased about.