Two men arrested during Rothamsted GM protest

PUBLISHED: 11:11 28 May 2012 | UPDATED: 13:53 28 May 2012

TWO men were arrested during yesterday's anti-GM protest in Harpenden.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Rothamsted Park to voice their opposition to the trial of genetically modified wheat at Rothamsted Research.

The event itself was peaceful and police were in the area throughout the day in case trouble broke out.

On Friday, Herts Police, supported by St Albans District Council, obtained an order from the Home Secretary to restrict public access to the land at Rothamsted Research.

Those intending to gather in the park were notified of the ban prior to the event. During the course of the afternoon two men were arrested in the area covered by the order. They were given sufficient warning before the arrests were made and the arrests were made under Section 14C of the Public Order Act 1986.

Deputy Chief Constable Heather Valentine said: “Our positive working relationship with St Albans City and District Council and Rothamsted Research has proved vital in ensuring those who gathered in the park did so safely and were able to peacefully protest.

“The size of the area owned by Rothamsted Institute is vast, historic and of scientific and economic importance and with little information from the main organising group ahead of today, planning for this operation has been complex. We have however achieved our aims of delivering a proportionate policing response to the protest with a friendly, firm, fair and engaging style.”

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