Dozens more Insulate Britain activists charged over M25 protests

The announcement by Surrey Police follows separate charges brought by the Kent force and the Metropolitan Police earlier this month.

18 March 2022

Surrey Police have charged 54 people over Insulate Britain road-blocking protests on the M25 on four days in September.

The latest charges follow similar action by Kent Police, who charged 74 people earlier this month, and the Metropolitan Police, who said on Thursday officers had charged 56 people.

The Surrey force said its investigation with the Crown Prosecution Service into the protests at junctions of the M25 on September 13, 15, 17 and 21 last year had resulted in 131 charges against 54 individuals, who have been summonsed to attend hearings at Crawley Magistrates’ Court from April.

A statement said: “All those who have been summonsed have been charged with obstruction of the highway or excluded traffic on a special road (pedestrian).

“Further charges have been brought against 11 of those individuals in addition to the above for criminal damage or possession of a bladed article.”

The announcement by Kent Police on March 11 was believed to mark the first time criminal proceedings had been launched in relation to Insulate Britain activists.

They have previously only faced legal action in the civil courts, with several jailed for breaching injunctions.

Insulate Britain, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, wants the Government to insulate all UK homes by 2030 to cut carbon emissions.

It repeatedly blocked major roads between September and November, causing long traffic jams.

Activists often glued their hands to roads or each other to make it harder to remove them.

An investigation by the PA news agency found policing the protests cost taxpayers at least £4.3 million.

At one stage officers were deployed at every junction of the M25 in an attempt to stop the group.

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