King Charles coronation: Westminster City Council street safety volunteers arrested over rape alarm concerns
Three Westminster City Council street safety volunteers were reportedly arrested by police in the early hours of Saturday morning ahead of yesterday’s coronation ceremony
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The Metropolitan Police has come under fire for reportedly arresting three street safety volunteers in the build up to King Charles’ coronation. Among items seized from the individuals were the rape alarms they hand out to women at night.
The three people – a 37-year-old woman, a 59-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man – were taken to a south London police station, where they were questioned. The 47-year-old man was also further arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, and all have since been released on bail.
The police responded to the accusation on social media saying the three were arrested due to intelligence the force had received about possible disruption caused though the use of rape alarms. The response was made on Twitter.
The Met Police said they "received intelligence that indicated groups and individuals seeking to disrupt today's coronation proceedings were planning to use rape alarms to disrupt the procession”.
The spokesperson continued: "There was particular concern from military colleagues that this would scare their horses involved in the procession and, as a result, cause significant risk to the safety of the public and the riders."
All three of those arrested were reportedly members of a night safety team run by Westminster City Council. One of the efforts made by the Night Stars programme is to hand out rape alarms to women on nights out.
Councillor Aicha Less, cabinet member for communities and public protection at Westminster City Council, said: "We are deeply concerned by reports of our Night Stars volunteers being arrested overnight.
"This service has been a familiar and welcome sight in the West End for a long time, and have extensive training, so they can assist the most vulnerable on the streets late at night. We are working with the Metropolitan Police to establish exactly what happened, and in the meantime, we are in touch with our volunteers to ensure they are receiving the support they need."