East Area police officers deployed to Glasgow for COP26 and apprehend the Loch Ness monster!

  • thehaveringdaily.co.uk

A team of 25 Level 2 officers from East Area Command Unit – Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Havering were selected to be part of the Policing Plan for COP26 in Glasgow following Police Scotland’s Request for Mutual Aid. 

COP26 was the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties to bring together world leaders and dignitaries from around the world to discuss a plan to address climate change, this was the biggest conference ever hosted in the UK. The policing operation’s aim was to support the delivery of a safe and secure event and facilitate peaceful protests in response to COP26. It was one of the largest and most complex operations in the history of UK policing, drawing on officers from all forces across the UK. The Met alone provided nearly 1000 officers to Police Scotland across a wide range of specialist skills.

The officers from East Area formed a serial lead by Chief Inspector Tanner with three other serials from across the Met who were supported by Medics and Evidence Gatherers and led by a command team.

Inspector Watson said: “We were deployed for a two week duration and our role was to maintain the security of vulnerable premises and key secure sites whilst also responding to spontaneous and pre-planned protests aimed at significant disruption to the event. There were numerous climate change and environmental protests groups that descended on Glasgow including XR and Green Peace, and being well versed in dealing with such groups in London we were all prepared to be kept on our toes and expect the unexpected… 

One such event was how East Area officers were responsible for apprehending the Loch Ness Monster! We responded to a call to activists attempting to float a large inflatable Loch Ness Monster into a water way on the Clyde that was directly adjacent to the main conference and delegate area. With fears that this was going to cause a disruption and security breach to the event, our officers managed to track it down and secure Nessy just before it was dropped into the water which would have made our lives a lot more difficult to retrieve it. We were able to seize the monster and get it loaded onto a lorry before getting removed and held by Police Scotland for the rest of the conference. We managed to get it all safe and secure with no one getting wet or any harm to the inflatable Loch Ness Monster.”

Inspector Watson continued: “It was a very interesting experience Policing not only the COP26 event but also Glasgow City Centre with brand new Police Powers and Policies and the Saturday night was certainly an experience. At times it was tough such as patrol an empty street for 12 hours but the team kept their spirits up and stayed motivated. All in all we had a fantastic time and were made to feel very welcome. We have come away with some good memories and a sense of achievement having contributed to COP26’s success and representing the Met and East Area Command Unit”

Well done to all our amazing police officers!

East Area Police officers at the COP26.
East Area officers assisting Scottish police in Glasgow.

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