News24

UK cops 'could have shot' royal protesters

2010-12-10 12:57

London - Britain's top police officers said on Friday that armed officers showed "enormous restraint" by not using their weapons against student protesters who attacked the car of Prince Charles and his wife.

The royal couple looked shocked as demonstrators hurled missiles at their Rolls Royce as they travelled to the theatre in central London late on Thursday, shortly after the government survived a vote to raise university fees.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said the royals' route was thoroughly surveyed minutes earlier and blamed the "unpredictability of - I was going to call them these demonstrators -but these thugs."

"I do think that the officers who were protecting their royal highnesses showed very real restraint, some of those officers were armed," he told BBC radio.

"Their priority was to get that car to a point of safety and that was achieved. But it was a hugely shocking incident and there will be a full criminal investigation into it."

Asked if that meant the royal protection officers could have opened fire on the protesters he said: "I think you and your listeners can draw their own conclusion.

Royal couple commended

"We do have armed officers who protect principals and I think we've got to remember on occasions that their task is to protect their principals and get them to their venue and make sure they're as safe as possible.

"And sometimes we've got to remember they show enormous restraint and great judgment in the most difficult of circumstances."

The police chief said Charles and Camilla "ought to be commended for their fortitude in the situations".

Stephenson later defended the general policing of the protest, which saw thousands of demonstrators raining missiles on riot squad officers as they tried to storm the finance ministry and supreme court.

Thirty-four people were arrested and at least 43 protesters and 12 police officers were injured, according to police figures.

"My officers came under some terrible attacks," Stephenson said in a statement to reporters outside New Scotland Yard.

Comments
  • devils-adv - 2010-12-10 13:32

    Protect the rich and powerful and screw everyone else. World governments are on a slippery slope that is only going to lead to more protests and violence by the masses. Royalty is an archaic institution based on lies and power and the masses taxes should no longer be used to support them.

      Gorilla - 2010-12-10 13:54

      Ummm. The British Royal Family is not the government.

      Dave - 2010-12-10 14:09

      What is Britain without Royalty, they generate millions for England you idiot

      Ian - 2010-12-10 18:39

      Are you on something? Utter drivel.

      Douglas Hendry - 2010-12-11 20:38

      This cretin obviously suffered abuse from his nanny as a child. Or wishes he had. I wonder if he has ever finished reading his copy of the Boys Own Communist Manifesto, or did the words of more than 1 syllable confuse him?

  • Douglas Hendry - 2010-12-11 20:35

    Shooting a few of them would suit me just fine. But it would probably upset the human rights people. Introducing a few of them to the Thames might have cooled their enthusiasm somewhat. But this sort of socialist revolution has no place in a civilised country. If they wish to behave like this, try doing it in China, or North Korea.

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