THE Met Police has responded to an accusation that it arrested two women at a pro-Palestine march “simply because they held up Arabic postcards”.

Footage shown on Sky News showed two women being pulled over by officers and being asked to translate their banners.

The broadcaster reported that there was no interpreter available immediately and so the police had to wait for one to arrive.

The footage then showed one policeman telling the two women that they were under arrest.


A statement from the Met Police confirmed that the two women were arrested for a "racially aggravated public order offence after they were seen to be holding placards with messaging on likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress".

Writing on Twitter/X on Saturday night, the Muslim Association of Britain took aim at the Met Police for the decision.

A statement said: “@metpoliceUK this is seriously appalling. Your officers had no idea what those signs meant yet decided to arrest the women simply because they held up Arabic placards.

“In the midst of Islamophobia Awareness Month your officers showed plenty of Islamophobia with very little awareness.

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“@MetCC we trust you will be investigating and providing much needed Islamophobia training to your officers.”

The Met Police responded to the statement via its own Twitter/X account and said: “It isn’t always clear from media reporting alone what is taking place.

“We had Arabic speaking officers at this protest and in our operations room. These placards were first seen on CCTV and translated prior to officers being guided in to speak to the women.

“Establishing the understanding and intent of those holding a placard is relevant to determining what offences might apply.

“That is the part that can’t be done remotely through a CCTV camera and it is what the arresting officers can be seen doing here.”

Police said that 18 arrests were made over the course of the pro-Palestine demonstration in London on Saturday.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: “I would like to acknowledge the overwhelming majority who came into London today and exercised their right to protest lawfully.

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“Regrettably, there was still a small minority who believed the law did not apply to them. Thanks to the efforts of our CCTV teams and other officers, a number of those are already in custody.

“Investigations into other offences are already under way and will continue in the coming days.

“I would also like to thank the Met officers, as well as all those from other forces who travelled long distances to help us keep London safe, for their efforts.

“We said we would intervene decisively where offences took place and that is what they did.”