Climate protests calling for an end to new oil and gas projects have cost the Metropolitan Police over half a million pounds since the beginning of the month.
Campaign groups Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion have been targetting fuel terminals in a series of co-ordinated protests across the country, which started on 1 April.
Extinction Rebellion also organized a series of protests in central London, swamping Marble Arch on Saturday and bringing traffic to a standstill.
In other ‘disruptions’ across the capital over the past week, the eco-activists shut down bridges, occupied Oxford Circus, protested at Lloyd’s of London, and climbed on top of oil tankers.
The Metropolitan Police’s latest estimate of the cost of the protests is £565,824.45, The Independent can reveal.
This initial estimate covers from 1 April to 14 April, and the figure is now expected to be higher as the force tackles daily climate actions.
Summer protests organized by Extinction Rebellion last August and September cost the Metropolitan Police over £18million in total.
Six people were arrested on Saturday after activists climbed onto an oil tanker off Bayswater Road in London. Olympian Etienne Scott, who was part of the protest, said she was taking part to “disrupt the toxic fossil fuel industry”.
“I am aware that my actions will cause anger to many people and I am prepared to be held accountable,” she said, “but out government should also be held to account for its decisions which are destroying our planet’s ability to support human civilization” .
The Metropolitan Police said that protesters have been walking through central London and “stopped at various locations along their unspecified route, causing disruption”.
Extinction Rebellion said that it was “experimenting with a decisive shift in tactics, with a move away from the use of large infrastructure and a renewed focus on people power and nonviolent civil resistance”.
More than 600 people have been arrested over the past two weeks after activists blocked roads at oil depots across the UK.
Just Stop Oil, who have taken part in the protests at oil terminals, have said that the only “announcement [that] will change our plans is a statement from the government that they will halt new oil and gas”.
Essex Police said last week that it had spent more than £1million dealing with demonstrations at oil terminals.
In Warwickshire, police charged nine Just Stop Oil activists for holding a demonstration at an oil terminal in Kingsbury on Friday.
The protesters were charged with obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in lawful activity.