Police hunt 20 men involved in counter-protests during pro-Palestine march

The force made 145 arrests for offences such as violent disorder and hate crimes

Holly Evans
Tuesday 21 November 2023 23:42 GMT
<p>Metropolitan Police handout photo of the 20 men they would like to identify who took part in a counter-protest </p>

Metropolitan Police handout photo of the 20 men they would like to identify who took part in a counter-protest

Police are hunting 20 men involved in counter-protests as hundreds of thousands of people attended a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London on Armistice Day.

The Metropolitan Police said there were several incidents of violent disorder across the capital, including around Whitehall, on November 11.

Scotland Yard has released images of the men, who detectives are investigating for a range of alleged offences including inciting racial hatred, racially aggravated public order offences and assault on police officers.

Counter-protesters clash with police in Parliament Square

Speaking at a press interview with The Independent, Detective Sergeant Matt Simpson said that 11 November had been a “really difficult and busy day”, and that a number of officers had been assaulted in the course of their duties.

“We’e looking through CCTV, collecting it all in, and the team are going through and trying to identify who has committed offences. It’s a case of slowly going through it frame by frame to identify the offenders,” he said.

Explaining their process in carrying out arrests, he added that officers are occasionally unaware a crime has taken place until it has been reviewed later on camera, which leads to further arrests post-incident.

The Met confirmed that they would be using the term “counter-protester” to describe the group involved in the disorder at Whitehall, given that they were reacting to the news regarding the pro-Palestinian march.

Commander Kyle Gordon said: “Public order policing doesn’t end when the event is over, and since remembrance weekend our teams have been working around the clock to identify those involved in any criminality that took place on the day.

“They’ve trawled through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and are continuing to review evidence to help with enquiries.

“We need the public’s help to track down these men, who we want to speak to in connection with a range of offences.

“As with any public order event, we know that people may have travelled from outside of London, so we’re asking for people across the country to take a look at those pictured and get in touch if they recognise anyone.”

The force said it made 145 arrests on the day for offences for possession of weapons, criminal damage, public order, inciting racial hatred and possession of drugs.

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