Statement on protest in Liverpool city centre
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We can confirm officers attended the junction of Church Street and Parker Street in Liverpool city centre this afternoon (Sunday 18 October) where a group of protestors had gathered from 1pm.
Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy said: “Merseyside Police has been clear in advising people not to gather to protest under the current restrictions.
“Disappointingly for a second day this weekend, protestors chose to gather in Liverpool. We continue to urge people to consider ways of making themselves heard that do not pose a risk to the health of those attending as well as the people they may come into contact with afterwards.
“Under current coronavirus legislation however, protest can be lawful if certain conditions are met and in this case they were. Participants were regularly asked by speakers to spread out and officers monitoring the demonstration observed people complying.
“Officers remained in attendance until the protest ended.
“Throughout this pandemic, our officers have engaged with people and encouraged them to adhere to the restrictions – only moving to enforcement when necessary. Officers engaged with the organiser to ensure that she complied with her risk assessment and in this case it was not necessary to take the next step of enforcement.
“However it is incredibly frustrating that we have had to police such a protest again this weekend, and had the protest become unlawful, we would not have hesitated to take enforcement action. Merseyside Police has shown that we are prepared to take strong enforcement action when it is needed, and will continue to do so.”