Section of Whitehall closed off as naked man straddled statue


Click to follow
The Independent Online

A section of Whitehall was closed by police today after a naked man was seen straddling a statue.

Officers were called at around midday to reports that someone had clambered on to the statue of the 2nd Duke of Cambridge Prince George. They believed he might have a knife, but images from the scene appeared to show this was not the case.

Police cordoned off 100 meters of Whitehall near to Trafalgar Square, and emergency services were called to the scene.

Crowds of onlookers gathered at either end of the police cordon to watch the incident. The man came down from the statue voluntarily, and was detained under the Mental Health Act, at about 14:45 GMT.

Eyewitnesses said the man was clothed before he climbed to the top of the statue, and could be seen waving his arms and at times balancing precariously on the Duke's head. Police spent over 30 minutes trying to persuade the man to climb down from the statue.

At one point he balanced at the top of the statue, on the Duke's feathered hat, his arms outstretched.

David Lee, a civil servant who works nearby, said: "We saw him dismount the horse, then he sort of disappeared for a bit, then I assume he went into the police van."