A total of 16 Just Stop Oil protesters in total have been arrested after the second day of disruption on the M25 surrounding London.

A joint operation with neighbouring forces, including Essex Police, Surrey Police and Kent Police dealt with the actvists who climbed onto overhead gantries in “multiple locations” on the UK’s busiest motorway from 7am today (November 8).

Essex Police said a protester climbed onto the gantry at junction 31 at around 7am, causing the Dartford Tunnel to be closed and causing delays of an hour.

The 53-year-old woman from Bury St Edmunds was brought down from a gantry after being spotted by officers patrolling the M25.

She is currently in custody for questioning on suspicion of causing a public nuisance and criminal damage.

News Shopper: A 53-year-old woman from Bury St Edmunds was arrested by Essex PoliceA 53-year-old woman from Bury St Edmunds was arrested by Essex Police (Image: Essex Police)

The tunnels at the crossing were closed but one has since reopened.

Another protester, a 55-year-old man from Portsmouth, was arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance after another incident at Junction 27.

News Shopper: A 55 year-old man from Portsmouth was arrested by Essex Police on suspicion of causing a public nuisanceA 55 year-old man from Portsmouth was arrested by Essex Police on suspicion of causing a public nuisance (Image: Essex Police)

Essex Police Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: “I want to thank the public for their support, patience and understanding following these two incidents this morning.

“I share their frustration that they have been impacted while just trying to go about their lives.

"We will not tolerate the serious criminality that brings our motorways to a standstill and will continue to take firm action to arrest those responsible and to bring them before the courts.

“In Essex, there are 32 miles of the M25 and at least 70 gantries so it is a huge task to prevent these incidents.

“Despite this, due to our officers proactively patrolling we were able to bring one person down and arrest them within 90 minutes of them being spotted.

“Our priority will continue to be to keep Essex moving and keep people safe and officers will continue to proactively patrol the M25 to identify and tackle incidents where they take place.”

Just Stop Oil also targeted at least six other locations on the M25.

Surrey Police made five arrests after activists at multiple locations along the Surrey stretch, which halted traffic.

The force explained that police officers trained to work at a height, scaled the gantries and removed and arrested all the protesters by 10.30am.

The Just Stop Oil activists arrested by Surrey Police included two men aged 60 and 68, and three women aged 19, 31 and 56.

Superintendent Graham Barnett, from Surrey and Sussex Operations Command, said: “Make no mistake, what we are seeing this week is not peaceful protest, it is large-scale, co-ordinated, criminality disrupting the lives of thousands of people trying to go about their daily business.

“Our main concern continues to be the safety of other road users as well as protecting our officers who are climbing gantries to remove them and get the roads running again.

“This kind of dangerous activity puts the public at risk, it puts police officers at risk, and it diverts our resources away from tackling other crime in our communities.

“Charges have been brought against those arrested yesterday and we will continue to work with the Crown Prosecution Service to seek charges for those committing offences today.

“Alongside our colleagues in other forces we are conducting proactive patrols and acting fast on intelligence we receive about these activists.

“This has resulted in some pre-emptive arrests, and we will continue to do this.

“However, it is neither feasible nor sustainable for us to continually police hundreds of gantries around the M25.”

Kent Police arrested a further two protestors at junction 1b of the M25 this morning. 

Police believe some of those involved in the demonstrations could have breached a High Court injunction obtained by National Highways.

Just Stop Oil said in a statement: “We will not be intimidated by changes to the law, we will not be stopped by private injunctions sought to silence peaceful people.

“Our supporters understand that these are irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter, the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities.”

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