After being detained on The Mall while standing alongside to Just Stop Oil demonstrators, Alice Chambers was unable to attend the coronation.
No innocent bystander should “endure” a “shocking” experience like the monarchist who was jailed for 13 hours after being arrested for standing close to demonstrators on the day of the King’s coronation, according to her.
Alice Chambers has now requested that the police implement new procedures to stop a repeat of the incident.
Around 7 a.m. on Saturday, the 36-year-old made his way to The Mall in the heart of London with the hopes of catching a glimpse of the King.
But as police officers descended on the crowd at around 9am, she accidentally moved close to the Just Stop Oil demonstrators and was “grabbed” and handcuffed.
According to Alice Chambers “You would think that this should never happen and clearly there’s processes that either need to be put in place, or that weren’t followed because no one should endure an extended period under arrest just because they’re an innocent bystander.”
The Australian architect who now resides in London said in an interview with BBC Newsnight on Thursday that she was detained on suspicion of planning to cause a public nuisance.
She claimed that while in custody, the Metropolitan Police had her DNA, fingerprints, and custody photo taken as she was being interrogated, searched, and held in a cell before realizing she was an innocent bystander and releasing her.
She added: “I mean, it’s just been so shocking and very emotional because it’s not something you ever expect, to find yourself in a jail cell for an extended period of time.
“I think about all the things I could have done that day, all the parties I could have gone to but I chose to attend the coronation and I got to see none of it.”
She added: “You would think that this should never happen and clearly there’s processes that either need to be put in place, or that weren’t followed because no one should endure an extended period under arrest just because they’re an innocent bystander.”
When police showed up and began handcuffing individuals, she said she was “sitting there waiting for the coronation to begin” to Victoria Derbyshire.
“Unfortunately, I was one of the people they grabbed,” she said.
“They handcuffed me straight away and then pulled me out of the crowd and put me against a barrier with a whole heap of other protesters.
“I tried to say anything I could to say that I wasn’t part of that group.
“I gave them my contact details. I showed them my ID and nothing seemed to be able to be said that made a difference really.”
Ms Chambers said she was hauled off The Mall, amid “yelling and booing” from crowds, and was bundled into a police van, from which point it took a further “four hours before we made it to a station”.
According to her, she made numerous attempts to clarify that she was unrelated to Just Stop Oil and that she was unaware of the protests’ objectives before they began.
She claimed that after realizing she was an innocent bystander, the cops who had been questioning her apologized and “tried to process me from then on as quickly as they could.”
She has complained to the Metropolitan Police about the event.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “We are aware that a woman was arrested in relation to a protest on May 6.
“The arresting officer was from Lincolnshire Police and the complaint has therefore been passed to the relevant force to investigate.
“The Met will assist by providing any relevant information they require.”
Ms. Chambers responded, “I think it’s extremely annoying, since I submitted a complaint the day after this happened, and it’s taken them a long time to get to this stage.
She admitted that there were many police officers stationed outside of London in the capital on the day of the coronation, but added that “the Met ultimately took over from them and I was detained by the Met as well” to show that her complaint “wasn’t necessarily” with them.
“I feel at the moment there’s a bit of finger pointing at each other so they they’re not really dealing with my complaint at all,” she added.
A woman in her 30s was detained in connection with a Just Stop Oil protest on May 6 while our officers were in central London supporting Met colleagues on mutual aid, according to Chief Inspector Simon Outen of the professional standards division of Lincolnshire Police.
“She was subsequently released with no further action. We have now received a complaint and we are reviewing the incident, and we are in contact with the complainant to establish the full details of her allegations.”