‘Animal Rebellion’ planning to blockade Smithfield Market
It has been widely circulated through the media of the intention of a new protest group calling itself ‘Animal Rebellion’ to attempt to blockade City of London-based Smithfield Meat Market, during the period 7-21 October 2019.
How will this protest impact on our City of London customers’ colleagues and premises?
Following a Public meeting held by City of London Police (CoLPA) and attended by Corps Security’s Regional Operations Director, we can report the following:
- Animal Rebellion, whilst linked with Extinction Rebellion, are a separate group with separate protest objections. Animal Rebellion (AR) intend to blockade Smithfield Market as a protest against Government Policy, with the aim of changing views on Cruelty to Animals and transitioning to more sustainable food sources. The Intention is to close the Market until Government respond to initial objective reported
- This activity is planned to commence on 7th October, with AR stating that it plans to continue the protest until 21st October. AR are encouraging people to bring Tents, Food and Compost based toilets
- CoLPA stated that as it is believed that AR activity is planned to peak around the Operational Hours of the Market Trading i.e. 0200-1000 Monday-Friday, CoLPA will be policing the area in increased numbers, during these hours, and have stated that the intention is to prevent the closure of the Market under any circumstances.
- CoLPA, BTP and the Met are consolidating forces and, drawing upon experiences gained from the previous Extinction Rebellion protest in Central London, are prepared for smaller protests to break out across the City in support of this cause.
- Currently preventative measures by police have already thwarted two potential threats in preparation for the protest activity
How may this protest impact upon the working day?
The numbers expected are unconfirmed but as a caution, CoLPA advised for the local area to prepare for a guide rate of 2,000-10,000 protestors. This will inevitably result in road closures and blockages, especially in the vicinity of the Market itself.
British Transport Police (BPT) have warned of possible major disruption at Farringdon Station, with possible closures. This is again based upon experiences learned from Extinction Rebellion’s previous activities.
Whilst most protestors will be focusing their attention on causing disruption at the Market, extra vigilance should be applied to managing access control.
Some protestors may attempt to gain unauthorised entry to places where there are possible links to their cause. In preparation, Access Control and lockdown measures should be strengthened. In addition, all persons (Security and other personnel) working throughout Central London should follow the TFL, and Police announcements on any impact on the Tube, Bus and other transport networks.
All site Security Control Rooms should be monitoring Sky/Breaking News around the clock.
It is also vital that measures are in place to alert the police via 999 calls (not 101) or panic alarms in real time.
We have been informed that a further briefing will be held on 1 October 2019, and we will issue further bulletins with updated information and intelligence as and when we receive it.
HMG’s terror alert status for the UK is detailed below:
The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK is now assessed as: SEVERE
The threat level for Irish related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
The threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Great Britain is set at MODERATE
In Northern Ireland it is: SEVERE
- CRITICAL means that a terrorist attack is imminent
- SEVERE means that a terrorist attack is highly likely
- SUBSTANTIAL that an attack is a strong possibility
- MODERATE that an attack is possible but unlikely
Everyone should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the Police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline on: 0800 789 321
You may end up saving a life or lives… and there is nothing more rewarding than that…
The following telephone numbers may be useful:
Corps Security Central Support: 0141 847 2044
Specific advice on Counter-Terrorism matters: 020 7566 0516
Editor: Mike Bluestone MA CSyP FSyI