Kensington: Police halt 80-car pro-Palestinian convoy after Limehouse Link Tunnel traffic stopped
The police helicopter, roads policing units and public order teams were dispatched and the convoy was held in Exhibition Road, near the V&A and the Natural History Museum.
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Photos of 15 people suspected of offences have been issued by detectives after the convoy was halted in Exhibition Road, Kensington. The convoy had disrupted east London traffic on the A13 and in the Limehouse Link Tunnel, and the Met believes it was due to proceed to the Israeli embassy.
Police say they took action following antisemitism at similar incidents. Commander Karen Findlay said: "They understandably caused significant concern, fear and upset."
Since the terrorist attacks by Hamas on October 7, protests have been held in London calling for Israel to halt its military action in Gaza - as well as protests calling for Hamas to release its hostages.
But communities in London have reported a rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents.
London pro-Palestinian convoy
The Met became aware of the convoy displaying Palestinian flags heading into central London at around 10.15pm on Saturday. The force says it believes the cars originally set off from a car park in Hancock Road, Tower Hamlets.
The cars were held in Exhibition Road, South Kensington, and a dispersal order was put in place. 80 vehicles were given notices under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act, ordering them to disperse and cease their participation in the convoy or face being seized.
Police say one vehicle was ultimately seized, with fixed penalty notices for road traffic offences issued to 18 drivers. A further nine vehicles were served with prohibition notices after defects were found making them unfit for use.
Subsequent investigations, the force said, found that on their way into central London, the convoy stopped twice on major roads - the A13 and the Limehouse Link Tunnel - causing disruption and "danger to other road users".
The Met has released 15 images of individuals suspected of offences as part of the convoy (see video above).
Anyone with information can call 101, providing the reference 4237915/23 and the unique number in the bottom corner of the image.
Information can be given to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
The Met Police
Commander Karen Findlay said: “On some previous occasions, convoys of cars have passed through Jewish communities with occupants waving flags and shouting antisemitic abuse. They understandably caused significant concern, fear and upset.
“As soon as the convoy was spotted, a plan was put in place quickly to ensure the convoy would not reach areas where its presence would inevitably cause alarm and intimidation. Our enquiries have not only revealed the extent of their dangerous antics on major roads, they’ve also established the group had plans to move on from Exhibition Road to the Israeli embassy off Kensington High Street. Our intervention on Saturday night was effective in stopping this convoy in its tracks, but now we need to identify those we suspect of being involved in offences earlier on their route.
“The public have been a great help in recent weeks when similar appeals have been made and I have no doubt they’ll continue to do the same.”