Two people have been charged in connection with disruption on the M25 yesterday (Tuesday 8 November).
Charlotte Kirin, 53, of Peckham Street, Bury St Edmunds and 55 year-old Paul Bleach, of Locarno Road, Portsmouth, have both been charged with intentionally recklessly causing a public nuisance.
They were arrested at junctions 31 and 27 of the M25 respectively.
They’re due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court today (9 November).
A second person has been arrested by officers who have acted quickly to minimise disruption caused by people on gantries over the M25.
The 55 year-old from Portsmouth was arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance following an incident at Junction 27 earlier this morning.
The road remained closed for a number of hours whilst specialist officers dealt with the incident, for the safety of other road users and the officers working in the road.
He is currently in custody.
Earlier today a 53 year-old woman from Bury St Edmunds was brought down from a gantry and arrested within 90 minutes of being spotted by officers proactively patrolling the M25.
She is also in custody for questioning on suspicion of causing a public nuisance and criminal damage.
Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said:
“I want to thank the public for their support, patience and understanding following these two incidents this morning.
“I share their frustration that they have been impacted while just trying to go about their lives.
"We will not tolerate the serious criminality that brings our motorways to a standstill and will continue to take firm action to arrest those responsible and to bring them before the courts.
“In Essex, there is 32 miles of the M25 and at least 70 gantries so it is a huge task to prevent these incidents.
“Despite this, due to our officers proactively patrolling we were able to bring one person down and arrest them within 90 minutes of them being spotted.
“Our priority will continue to be to keep Essex moving and keep people safe and officers will continue to proactively patrol the M25 to identify and tackle incidents where they take place.”
A woman has been brought down from a gantry over the M25 and arrested within 90 minutes of being spotted as officers responded swiftly to reports of disruption.
Officers were proactively patrolling the M25 when they became aware of a woman on a gantry at Junction 31 at the Dartford River Crossing shortly after 7am.
Specialist officers were mobilised quickly and managed to bring the woman down and arrest her within 90 minutes of her being spotted.
As a result, the tunnels at the crossing were closed but one has since re-opened.
National Highways have responsibility for the decision to re-open the road and we are liaising with them.
We then became aware of a second person on a gantry at Junction27 on the northbound track of the M25.
Due to the dangerous position in which the protester has placed themselves, their movements across the gantry and the need to ensure the safety of road users and police officers the M25 has had to be closed in both directions.
We have specialist officers on scene to arrest the protester as quickly as possible.
Working with National Highways we will constantly review the road closure and open as many lanes as possible, as soon as possible.
Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said:
“We have been prepared for more acts of disruption and had officers proactively patrolling the M25 who’s quick actions have helped minimise the impact on the public this morning.
“However, we appreciate people just trying to go about their daily lives have been disrupted again, I completely understand the anger and frustration and want to assure people we are working hard to prevent these criminal acts and to respond was quickly as we can where they take place.
“We have mobilised a significant amount of resources to deal with these incidents.
“These are resources which should be tackling knife crime, helping investigate sexual and domestic offences, and responding to burglaries.
“However, due to these actions they are not able to because we have had to divert them to these incidents. That is unacceptable.
“We will continue to work to keep people safe, keep Essex moving, and deal with criminal acts where they take place."
Tuesday 8 November, 8.25am
One of the tunnels is now open.
Tuesday 8 November, 8am
We are now at the scene of a second incident at Junction 27 on the Northbound track of the M25 where a protestor has climbed the gantry spanning the width of the road.
Due to the dangerous position the individual has placed themselves in – which is at the sliproad joining from the M11 Northbound – Police and National Highways have now had to put some closures in place at this location. Traffic using the M25 towards Waltham Abbey will be diverted onto the M11.
The clockwise track of the M25 remains open.
We are working as quickly as we can to arrest this individual and we are working as quickly as we can to ensure we keep you moving – we know how important that is.
Officers remain at the scene.
Tuesday 8 November, 7:15am
We are currently on scene of an incident on the north-bound track of the M25 at the Dartford River Crossing.
This morning at just after 7am, our officers were proactively patrolling the M25 when they became aware that a protester had climbed up the gantry at junction 31 at the Dartford River Crossing.
The gantry is at Junction 31 and is the first as you travel into Essex from Kent.
As a result, it has been necessary to close the Dartford tunnel and lanes three and four while we work to remove the protester. Our protest removal team is on scene.
Due to the dangerous position in which the protester has placed themselves it is likely to be necessary to close the remaining two lanes of the London-bound track of the M25.
We know this will cause major disruption for motorists crossing from Kent into Essex.
Our priority, as always, is to ensure we work as quickly as we can to arrest this individual and keep you, our public, moving.
We continue to work closely with the Highways Agency to resolve this as quickly as possible.