Hertfordshire police's chief constable has apologised to journalists, as a review concluded into officers' actions during this month's M25 protests.

A number of journalists were arrested whilst attempting to cover the Just Stop Oil protest action, which took place from Monday November 7, to Thursday November 10.

At the time, campaigners climbed and secured themselves to gantries, causing heavy traffic on the M25.


An independent review of police officers' actions during the protests has now concluded.

In response, Hertfordshire Constabulary's chief constable, Charlie Hall said: “I fully appreciate the legitimate concerns raised by the arrests of the journalists which was why I commissioned the review. 

"I also rang and apologised to the accredited journalists who we arrested on the  November 11. 

“Whilst the review has correctly concluded that the arrests of the journalists were not justified and that changes in training and command need to be made, it found no evidence to indicate that officers acted maliciously or were deliberately disproportionate. 

"They made mistakes and I now reiterate my apologies.

The Comet: A Just Stop Oil protester on a motorway gantry on the M25.A Just Stop Oil protester on a motorway gantry on the M25. (Image: Just Stop Oil)

“The review also affords some valuable learning which we are acting on immediately so that it can be used when policing future protests, and we will also be sharing the learning nationally.”

The independant review into police actions made five recommendations for Herts police to consider moving forward, these include:

  1. Hertfordshire Constabulary should consider selecting commanders with commensurate skills and experience when balanced against the nature of the operation.
  2. Hertfordshire Constabulary should consider ensuring that mentors collate with commanders for the duration of the operation.
  3. Hertfordshire Constabulary should consider ensuring that all commanders have access to Public Order Public Safety (POPS) advisors.
  4. Hertfordshire Constabulary should consider affording Commanders with the ability and capacity to maintain accurate decision logs.
  5. Hertfordshire Constabulary should consider ensuring that all officers engaged with public order activity complete the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) package and identifided learning is shared.


Following this review, Hertfordshire Constabulary has made three immediate changes.

These include a futher review into officers who have not completed the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) package, directions to ensure that commanders have access to mentors and POPS advisors, and an immediate assessment of the number and experience of POPS commanders.