UK police boss complains Extinction Rebellion protesters go 'all floppy' when arrested

A protester in London is carried away by police.
A protester in London is carried away by police. Photo credit: Reuters

UK police are complaining that Extinction Rebellion protesters go "all floppy" when they're arrested, saying it is a waste of time and effort.

Sir Stephen House, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said the tactic of falling limp when arrested is "a flipping nuisance".

"We have asked them to stop being floppy," he told a London assembly police and crime committee hearing.

"And that might seem a silly thing to say but when you arrest them and pick them up they go all floppy, which is why you see four or five officers carrying them away. It's a complete waste of officers time and it's a pain in the neck."

He added police are "not making them go floppy".

"The problem with them going floppy and four offices carrying them away [is that it] looks to the general public like police are overreacting here."

An Extinction Rebellion spokesperson confirmed to The Guardian that the flaccid technique is encouraged by the movement, and protesters are encouraged to use it.

"It is part of our non-cooperation tactics. It is completely peaceful."

Extinction Rebellion held 10 days of protests in central London at the start of September, with the latest figures from the Metropolitan police showing 680 people had been arrested.

The alleged charges include obstructing the highway and criminal damage.