Police will 'enable peaceful protest' during King and Queen visit

Anti-monarchy groups say they will demonstrate the 'pointless vanity parade' in Edinburgh next week.

Police will ‘enable peaceful protest’ during King and Queen visit to Edinburgh for Royal Week Getty Images

Police say a “enable peaceful protest” during the King and Queen visit Edinburgh next week.

Anti-monarchy groups including members of Republic have said they will demonstrate the “pointless vanity parade” outside the cathedral.

The Scottish-based Our Republic will also hold a rally at the Meadows in the city later the same day.

Charles is set to be presented with the Honours of Scotland, the oldest crown jewels in Britain, during a service of thanksgiving at St Giles’ Cathedral on Wednesday, July 5.

The event will take place during Royal Week and will take place following processions on the Royal Mile. 

The occasion is being coordinated between Police Scotland, the Scottish Government, Palace of Holyroodhouse, transport agencies and City of Edinburgh Council.

The events will mark the first protest by the republican groups since the coronation on May 6.

A total of 52 demonstrators, including six from Republic, were arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of offences including breaching the peace and conspiracy to cause public nuisance.

The six protesters, which included Republic chief executive Graham Smith, were held for almost 16 hours, later bailed and on Monday told that no further action would be taken against them.

Assistant chief constable Tim Mair, the police lead for the event, said: “Our priority is public safety and a policing plan is in place to maintain people’s safety, ensure the safe delivery of this significant event, enable peaceful protest and minimise disruption.

“Decisions about how to police protests require us to balance complex and often competing rights and issues.

“We have a legal duty to protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest or counter-protest. Our human rights based approach and legislation that applies in Scotland is unique amongst UK policing.”

He added: “Campaigning and demonstration is a legitimate, necessary and vital part of life. Abusive, threatening behaviour or activity intended to disrupt the event that risks public safety is not legitimate protest.

“Officers on the ground have to make dynamic assessments to quickly consider whether someone’s behaviour breaches the threshold of criminality. There are a range of factors and circumstances that affect this decision making, including considering the risk that behaviour has on the safety of those at the event, as well as any triggers that may lead to wider disruption.

“Every situation is unique. Safety is our priority, balanced against people’s rights.”

Road closures will also be in place and residents of the city have been urged to plan ahead.

Details of diversions will be published by City of Edinburgh Council and Traffic Scotland on their website and social media channels.

Air restrictions for drones will also be in place.

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