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Man arrested after police medic assaulted during ‘violent’ protest

The officer was knocked to the ground and kicked in the head.

Tommy Robinson supporters in Oxford Street in London (Steve Parsons/PA)
Tommy Robinson supporters in Oxford Street in London (Steve Parsons/PA)

A man has been arrested in connection with an assault on a police medic during a “violent protest” last weekend.

The medical officer was pulled to the ground and kicked in the head by a male during a rally in support of Tommy Robinson and a counter-demonstration by an anti-racism group in central London.

The police appealed for the public’s assistance in identifying two males officers wanted to speak to in connection with the incident.

On Tuesday evening, a 51-year-old man voluntarily attended a central London police station and was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm.

The sole purpose of deploying police medics to an event is to ensure the safety of those attending and provide care to those who require it Superintendent Roy Smith

He remains in police custody.

The Metropolitan Police said it was still seeking to identify a second man.

Supporters of Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, staged a protest dubbed “Free Tommy Robinson” on Saturday.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Oxford Circus and marched down Regent Street, chanting “We want Tommy out”.

A counter-protest by groups including Stop Tommy Robinson and Stand up to Racism was held in the same location.

At around 1.20pm a group of protesters attempted to physically breach a police cordon, the Met said.

It was during this incident that the police medic was assaulted.

The incident was captured on the officer’s body worn video camera and footage has been circulated on social media.

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Police would like to identify this man (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Superintendent Roy Smith, who policed Saturday’s demonstration, said: “Attacks on police officers, as with an attack on any emergency service worker, are attacks on the basic fabric of a civilised society.

“The sole purpose of deploying police medics to an event is to ensure the safety of those attending and provide care to those who require it.

“We have a dedicated team in place to investigate incidents like this at public order events, and rest assured we will not stop until those responsible are identified and brought to justice.

“I would urge anyone who has information relating to this sickening and cowardly attack to come forward, which you can do in complete confidence.

“I appeal to those involved, those who were with them on the day, or those who know who they are to do the right thing and come forward.”

Robinson was handed a nine-month sentence at the Old Bailey last month – of which he will serve just nine-and-a-half weeks – after he was found to have committed contempt of court.

The 36-year-old, from Luton, Bedfordshire, had filmed men accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls and live-streamed the footage on Facebook, in breach of a reporting ban, outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.

Anyone who has any information on the violence during Saturday’s protests is asked to call the Public Order Investigation Team directly on 0208 246 0076 or email liam.day@met.pnn.police.uk.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting crime reference 6552636/19.

PA

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