Environmental protesters could face prison after UK government secures injunction

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Environmental Protesters Could Face Prison After Uk Government Secures Injunction
Police officers carry away a protester, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Environmental activists blocking the M25 in England could face possible imprisonment after National Highways was granted an injunction against the protests, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

Campaign group Insulate Britain has shut down parts of the M25 five times in just over a week.

It has been reported that many of those taking part in the demonstrations have been arrested and released several times.

The Department for Transport said the injunction means the punishment for taking part in the protests will be tougher as activists will be in contempt of court and could be detained.

Mr Shapps wrote on Twitter: “Invading a motorway is reckless and puts lives at risk.

Police arrested 38 activists from the group on Tuesday as they targeted junctions nine and 10 of the M25 (Insulate Britain/PA)

“I asked National Highways to seek an injunction against M25 protestors which a judge granted last night.

“Effective later today, activists will face contempt of court with possible imprisonment if they flout.”

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Home secretary Priti Patel said the “important injunction” means “people can get moving again” on the M25.

“We will not tolerate lives being put at risk,” she said.

“Those who continue to do so risk imprisonment.”

 

Surrey Police arrested 38 activists from the group on Tuesday who had targeted junctions nine and 10 of Britain’s busiest motorway.

Footage taken at the scene by LBC showed the protesters walking on to the motorway and sitting down on the ground in front of moving traffic.

Some then held up banners reading “Insulate Britain” and poured blue paint on to the road, before they were dragged away by officers.

The protests have seen activists sit across the carriageways of the M25, completely blocking it to traffic (Insulate Britain/PA)

The High Court order, which officially came into force on Wednesday morning, prohibits anyone from “blocking, endangering, slowing down, preventing, or obstructing the free flow of traffic onto or along or off the M25 for the purposes of protesting”.

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