MORE than 1,000 police officers from across the country will be drafted into London for commemorations.
They will join around 2,000 Met police officers policing a pro-Palestine march through central London following Saturday’s two-minute silence.
The reinforcement by counties under mutual aid agreements follows findings that breakaway groups may be trying to stir up trouble.
An additional 778 regional police officers will be on duty in the capital on Saturday and 288 on Sunday.
Chief Constable Chris Haward, who led the police response to problems caused by the conflict in Gaza, said more than 100,000 protesters could be heading to the capital.
However, he said it was impossible to ban the march because the threat of serious violence had to be proven by law.
He added that even if a march were banned, police would still not be able to stop a huge crowd gathering in one place.
“You’re still going to expect 100,000 people, maybe more, to come and then be in a static position,” he said.
Mr Haward added: “The hurdle (for a ban) is extremely high. It’s about serious violence and not about the words that might be chanted.”
Gavin Stephens, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), stressed that protests outside the capital have been “largely peaceful” since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.
There were only eight arrests in 67 protests across the country between November 2nd and 5th.
However, 29 people were arrested during protests in central London last weekend.
Firecrackers were thrown at police officers and crowds chanted anti-Israel slogans.
He defended the Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley’s right to allow the Armistice Day march despite government opposition.
Mr Stephens said: “In policing we need the space to make difficult operational decisions independently.”
“This space is clearly set out in law in the Policing Protocol Order, which was updated earlier this year.
“The decisions we make are not easy, but we make them impartially, without fear or favor, and in accordance with both the law and our authorized professional practices.”
Interior Minister Suella Braverman has described pro-Palestine demonstrations as hate marches and accused police officers of bias against left-wing groups over right-wing ones.
And Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned that Sir Mark will be responsible for maintaining order over the weekend.
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Mr Stephens said it was “really important that public debate is not part of our operational decision-making”.
He said it would “fundamentally undermine” the way policing works in the UK.