Police have warned demonstrators not to attend a protest due to take place in Kingston-upon-Thames later on Saturday.
Demonstrators are expected to march against the Government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill on Saturday (March 27) from 1pm.
The mammoth piece of legislation which includes proposals over how protests are handled has received a big backlash.
Under the plans, police chiefs will be able to impose a start and finish time on demonstrations, set noise limits and apply the rules to just one person.
This means an individual holding a placard with a megaphone could be fined up to £2,500 if they refuse police direction.
The London event comes after 10 people were arrested at similar Kill the Bill protests in Bristol, with officer condemning the “violent conduct” at the scene.
Avon and Somerset Police said glass bottles, bricks and eggs were thrown at officers and fireworks were launched at its mounted division, with one horse being daubed with paint, during the 1,000 stong march.
Speaking about the planned march in the capital, The Met said they are aware of the Kingston event and urged people not to attend during the pandemic.
“Current government legislation makes gatherings in groups of more than two people unlawful, unless exemptions apply,” Kingston Police said in a statement.
“Gathering for the purpose of a protest is not an exception under the Covid-19 regulations. The right to protest must be balanced against the rights of others and the protection of public health.
“In the interests of public health, we are telling people not to attend Kingston in order to gather to protest. By gathering in large numbers, there is a risk of spreading the virus that has claimed so many lives.
“A policing operation will be in place throughout the day to engage with people who are in breach of the regulations. Those gathering will be encouraged to return home, if they do not, they face necessary and proportionate enforcement action. This could be a fixed penalty notice, or arrest.”
Police are hoping to avert a Bristol-like situation that saw tempers flare after three protests in the city.
On Friday (March 26) what started out as a gathering of 300 people swelled to 1,000 with a minority of people getting heated.
Police officers wearing helmets and holding shields moved towards the protesters after 10pm, after calling for the crowd to disperse due to Covid restrictions.