Statement on protest outside Exhibition Centre Liverpool
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We are in attendance at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool to facilitate peaceful protest today (Tuesday 12 October), and prevent incidents of criminality.
Officers have been in attendance since Sunday as part of the ongoing pre-planned policing operation surrounding the AOC Europe event. We are policing the gathering without fear or favour and to ensure the safety of the public, residents and businesses.
A dispersal zone is also in place in the area, giving officers additional powers to direct people they suspect are causing or likely to engage in criminality to leave the area and not return for up to 48 hours.
The dispersal zone is not aimed at restricting the right of anyone to protest peacefully and legally, but gives officers powers to prevent criminality.
While the majority of protestors have now left the area, two protestors remain on the roof of the Exhibition Centre Liverpool and efforts are ongoing to ensure they come down safely.
There have been six arrests in connection with the AOC Europe event:
Yesterday morning (Monday 11 October), officers attended the Pullman Hotel a man and a woman were in possession of items believed to be used to cause criminal damage. Police arrested a 46-year-old woman from Liverpool and a 31-year-old man of no fixed address on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage. They have since been released on police bail.
Yesterday evening, following reports that paint had been sprayed on stone arches on Wapping, a man and woman were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
During the protest march today, attended by around 80 to 100 people, officers arrested a 46-year old woman from New Brighton and a 22-year-old man from Liverpool for public order offences and obstructing a police officer.
Chief Superintendent Paul Court said: “Police have been in close liaison with organisers and partner agencies in recent weeks to ensure this protest causes minimum disruption to local communities and businesses.
“We will continue to engage in positive dialogue with the protestors and organisers, and officers will be deployed for the duration of the event to help make sure it passes without further incident.
“We have a duty to facilitate peaceful and lawful protest, but will not tolerate acts of criminality and those who engage in such acts will be dealt with robustly.
“I am grateful for the cooperation of those protest groups who have attended the event today and I am pleased to have received positive feedback from those attending about the manner in which we have policed the protest.”