Man arrested for immigration offences released on bail as protesters block van

Metropolitan Police officers were called to the scene in Peckham on Saturday.

11 June 2022

A man arrested for immigration offences was released after protesters gathered in south-east London for hours to block a van he was in from leaving.

Footage from the scene showed a crowd of people sitting on the ground in front of the vehicle in Peckham, while another clip showed members of the public standing and shouting “let him go”.

Metropolitan Police officers were called to Evan Cook Close shortly after 1.30pm on Saturday “to a report of protesters obstructing immigration officers” and said officers remained at the scene shortly before 5pm.

A spokesman for the force said: “Officers attended and found a van was being prevented from leaving the location.

“One man has been arrested by Border Force officers for immigration offences.”

The Met confirmed the man has since been released on bail.

Eleanor Janega, 39, from south-east London, told the PA news agency: “We were alerted that there was an immigration raid in process so locals came down to block it.

“We had been sitting here blocking the van and having ice lollies. They brought more police in and tried to break through the crowd by pushing us. We all sat down.”

Labour councillor Reginald Popoola said people had “encircled the van peacefully”, but claimed some people were shoved during the demonstration.

On the news the man had been released on bail, Mr Popoola told PA: “He’s being released, peaceful protest is powerful.”

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

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