Police must be investigated by watchdog after royal fan was detained for 13 hours | British News
Two police officers have contacted the police station after a royal supporter was arrested and held for 13 hours during the king’s coronation.
Both the Met Police and Lincolnshire Police have been referred to the IOPC over the incident.
Australian architect Alice Chambers, 36, has been held in a cell at Wandsworth Police Station after being arrested on the Mall on the morning of the coronation.
She had arrived early to catch a glimpse of King Charles and was unknowingly standing near the Just Stop Oil protesters.
She told the i that she waited in police custody until 7pm on the day of the coronation before officers questioned her and determined her innocence.
The Met expressed “regret” over the arrest last week after a spate of criticism from MPs and activists.
Today, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed it had received a referral from the Met.
It said: “Following an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a woman at the mall on Saturday May 6, the Met has made a voluntary referral to the IOPC, which is now conducting an assessment.”
An IOPC spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are receiving voluntary complaints from Lincolnshire Police and the Metropolitan Police Service following the arrest of a woman on The Mall, London, SW1, who was attending the King’s coronation on May 6th (MPS) received.”
“The leads relate to her arrest by a Lincolnshire officer and subsequent detention by the MPS.” “We are currently reviewing the recommendations to determine whether further action on our part may be required.”
Police said on Friday that the officer who made the arrest had received “mutual assistance” from Lincolnshire Police and that Ms Chambers’ initial complaint was forwarded there.
“Police have arrested a group of people in The Mall who we believe had intent to disrupt the coronation,” the Met said in a statement on Friday.
“Unfortunately, the woman was also among those arrested.” She was then released without further action.
“The officers involved in the security operation acted on the basis of the information available to them.” We regret that she was unable to attend the coronation.
“Officials spoke to her to explain our decisions and next steps.”
Ms Chambers told the newspaper i that she was arrested around 9am along with a dozen other people on suspicion of the possibility of causing a disturbance of the peace.
She said, “I was about to get up and two police officers just grabbed me and handcuffed me.” I don’t think they said anything, I think they arrested me before asking a question.
“I feel like when I was in the system they weren’t listening, I was trying to explain that I wasn’t part of the group.”
The Met has also expressed “regret” over the arrest of six Republican protesters, who were subsequently released without charge.
But on Wednesday, a senior Met officer denied the force was under political pressure.
Metropolitan Police Interim Deputy Commissioner Matt Twist told MPs: “I didn’t feel pressured politically, I felt pressure to conduct a safe and secure operation.”
As a testament to efforts to oversee the coronation, he told the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee: “We are constantly balancing the rights of those who want to protest with those who are affected.”
Chief Constable Chris Noble, the head of protests for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “There is no presumption against protests, quite the contrary.”
A total of 64 people were arrested on the day of the coronation.
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