Rank and file police officers in England and Wales have called on the Home Secretary to ban all protests whilst coronavirus remains a threat.
Home Secretary Priti Patel must be “unequivocal” in telling the population that large gatherings are not allowed, said the Federation chairman John Apter.
The calling for the ban comes after a second weekend of violent clashes with the police and far-right protestors.
Apter said, “In normal times the principle of having the right to peaceful protests is an important one.
“However, we are not in normal times, we are tackling a deadly virus which is indiscriminate in who it can affect.
“Police officers have provided outstanding professionalism in their dealings with large gatherings during Covid-19, some of which turned violent at the weekend.
“But we can’t ignore the avoidable risk our members and to those attending the protests are being exposed to.
“I urge the Home Secretary to be unequivocal in her terms that whilst we are under the threat of this virus, any large gathering or protest must be banned.
“We cannot allow our police officers and members of the public to be put at risk of contracting the virus, especially at such a critical time in our response to the pandemic.”
The Metropolitan Police said that 23 of their officers were injured during violent attacks by protestors in London on Saturday.
Violence broke out in Whitehall, London on Saturday afternoon against the police with video’s emerging on social media showing officers being pelted with bottles, kicked and punched.
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