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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Joseph Rachman

Royal superfan arrested for standing near Just Stop Oil protesters misses coronation

Sky News

A royal superfan attending the coronation says she was arrested just for standing next to Just Stop Oil protestors before being held for 13 hours.

Alice Chambers had headed to the Mall on Saturday morning to try and get a glimpse of King Charles.

But as she waited among the crowds she found herself handcuffed by police and arrested on suspicion of “potential to cause a breach the peace” alongside roughly a dozen other people. The incident, which was caught on camera by Sky News, took place at around 9am.

Alice Chambers - whose arrest was captured here on Sky News - missed the coronation as a result (Sky News)

The 36 year-old architect, who is from Australia but lives in London, said she had no idea she was even near protestors as they hadn’t started their demonstration at that point.

Despite her repeated attempts to explain the situation to the police, she says the Met took hours to acknowledge she was just an innocent bystander.

Speaking to the i newspaper, Ms Chambers said she was held for 13 hours in a cell, repeatedly questioned, underwent physical searches, and her DNA, fingerprints, and mugshot taken before she was finally released.

“I explained the whole thing, how I went down there at 7am to get a good spot, how I went one way and it was blocked and I ended up walking back to where there seemed to be some space,” she said.

“They [police officers] looked at each other and asked ‘have you ever heard of Just Stop Oil? I said, ‘Up until today no.’ They said we have no further questions and we’re really sorry you’ve been caught up in this.”

“That was the point I started crying and got emotional – that was the first time anyone had been able to listen to my side of the story.”

Ms Chambers had headed to the Mall in the hope of seeing King Charles (PA)

Ms Chambers said she understood why the police were on edge that day but was still upset by the ordeal and devastated to have missed the opportunity to witness a once-in-a-lifetime historical event. She has now made a complaint to the Met Police and the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The incident comes after the Met faced widespread criticism for arresting dozens of republicans ahead of the coronation service on Saturday.

When contacted for comment on Ms Chambers’ experience, a Met spokesperson: "We are aware that a woman was arrested in relation to a protest on 6 May 2023."

The Met Police has faced criticism for arresting anti-monarchy protesters (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"The arresting officer was from Lincolnshire Police and the complaint has therefore been passed to the relevant force to investigate. The Met will assist by providing any relevant information they require."

Chief Inspector Simon Outen from the Professional Standards Department at Lincolnshire Police, said: “Our officers were in central London providing mutual aid support to colleagues in the Met on Saturday 6 May, and during that time, a woman in her 30s was arrested in connection with a Just Stop Oil protest.”

“She was subsequently released with no further action. We have now received a complaint and we are reviewing the incident, and we are in contact with the complainant to establish the full details of her allegations.”

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