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Hundreds of police tackle G8 demos

Hundreds of riot police have been deployed throughout central London as protests took place against next week's G8 summit.

A building was occupied by demonstrators in Soho and there was a stand-off between protesters and police in Piccadilly as officers blocked access to Fortnum & Mason.

The historic shop was targeted during protests against Government cuts in 2011.

Metropolitan Police teams were out in force in a bid to keep the action under control and dramatically forced their way into the occupied building, a former police site, on Beak Street at lunchtime.

Television footage showed officers in climbing gear trying to secure the roof, bundling a protester who sprang on to the rooftop on to his front.

Around two dozen protesters gathered outside the BP headquarters in St James's Square amid a heavy police presence.

Police said there was intelligence to suggest paint bombs and shields could be used against horses and officers in Westminster and the City of London. Powers to stop and search in anticipation of violence and to require the removal of disguises were authorised.

Scotland Yard also said that officers were given a search warrant for a building in Beak Street where it was believed protesters might have weapons. The force confirmed that no group tried to liaise with them about the demonstrations.

The group StopG8 branded the action, held ahead of the two-day G8 summit in Northern Ireland next week, a "Carnival against Capitalism".

Businesses including hedge funds and banks in central London are understood to have warned staff to take precautions after similar protests in recent years led to violent clashes with police.

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