Police appeal following ‘disgraceful’ anti-vax protest at test and trace centre

·2-min read
(PA) (PA Archive)
(PA) (PA Archive)

Police have called for the public to share information with them following an anti-vaccination protest at a test and trace centre in Milton Keynes.

Dozens of marchers entered the facility and appeared to damage testing equipment in videos shared on social media.

Videos of the protest appear to show a crowd of marchers entering the test and trace centre and throwing traffic cones towards the marquee set up to administer tests.

Other protesters are shown knocking down signs for the testing centre, while the crowd is heard shouting “shame on you”.

Some of the crowd are shown approaching centre staff and filming them on their mobile phones.

One protester is shown entering the facility where she appears to take test kits and equipment away with her.

MPs have described the protest as “disgraceful”.

Nick Thomas-Symonds shadow secretary of state for international trade, described the protest as “dreadful”, at a site where “NHS staff are working over the festive season to help others”.

He urged anyone with information to pass this onto Thames Valley Police.

And Stella Creasy Labour MP for Walthamstow, said the scenes were “disgraceful”.

“For months now we have been warning need legislation to tackle those who harass others seeking healthcare. Government promised to act weeks ago but nothing as yet. Enough. It’s not free speech when 50% of debate in fear,” she said.

Matthew Barber, Police & Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said it was “appalling” to see the protest “escalate into something much uglier”.

He added that he had spoken to Thames Valley Police officers to discuss the police response on Wednesday evening, and said that “criminal offences will be investigated and appropriate action taken”.

“All of the events of today will be reviewed to help plan for future protest events and ensure that colleagues in the NHS can continue their fantastic work in delivering the vaccine roll out,” he said.

Thames Valley Police said that no arrests had been made, but that they had footage of the incident.

“Thames Valley Police is aware of an anti-vaccination protest that took place in central Milton Keynes this afternoon,” a spokesperson said.

“Where criminal offences have been disclosed, we will take swift action and bring offenders to justice.

“If anyone has any information or wishes to report they can do by calling 101 or online quoting reference 604 29/12/2021.”

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