Woman charged after M25 disruption

A woman is among the first to be charged with a new offence after officers dealt with an incident of disruption on the M25.

Police were called to an overhead gantry at junction 31 of the M25 in Thurrock on Wednesday July 20.

A diversion was put in place and the clockwise carriage way had to be closed while the incident was safely dealt with.

Louise Lancaster, 56, of Burnt Close, Grantchester, Cambs, has been charged with intentionally and/or recklessly causing a public nuisance, which is an offence under new legislation, Section 78 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

She appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Friday July 22, and was remanded into custody to appear at a later date, yet to be fixed.

Lancaster is the first to be charged with this offence in Essex.

Detective Superintendent Jon Burgess, of the West Local Policing Area command, said: “While we will always do our best to allow for lawful protest, we will not tolerate behaviour which puts the public and indeed our officers and emergency services colleagues in danger.

“I would urge anyone who plans to carry out what they perceive to be protest by disrupting roads or infrastructure in the coming days and weeks not to – your actions will likely result in you being arrested.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]