British police expressed regret over the arrests of the leader of anti-monarchist group Republic and five others at the coronation of King Charles, following criticism that the security response was heavy-handed.
London’s Met Police said they regretted that six of those arrested at the event were prevented from protesting during the coronation on Saturday. They have had their bail cancelled and no further action will be taken, the police statement added.
“We regret that those six people arrested were unable to join the wider group of protesters in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere on the procession route,” the statement, issued late on Monday, said.
The chief executive of Republic, Graham Smith, who was one of the six protesters arrested, said on Twitter that police had apologised to him in person on Monday but he planned to talk to lawyers about taking legal action.
Police said the arrests were made because of items which officers believed could have been used to disrupt the event.
The police said in their statement on Monday on that they were unable to prove the protesters intended to use the items to lock themselves to lock themselves to positions on the coronation route.
Republic said the items in question were intended for securing placards.
One man was also arrested for possession of a knife/pointed article.
There were over 11,000 police on the streets of central London for the coronation, the biggest ceremonial event staged in London for 70 years, and a total of 64 arrests were made.