Just Stop Oil protesters have cost the Met Police almost £20million, it has been revealed.
A Freedom of Information request found £19.9million has been spent on the group to date, with £3.5million spent since October this year.
It comes as the police claim the group has “refused to engage” with officers when planning its protests.
Scotland Yard said time spent on the group equated to about 300 officers per day being taken out of frontline policing across London.
Scotland Yard is calling on the group to co-operate with them
Commander Kyle Gordon, who was the senior officer responsible for planning the Met’s policing response to the latest round of Just Stop Oil’s protests, called on the group to engage with the force.
He said: "When it comes to Just Stop Oil, we know when they talk about slow marches it is in everything other than name an attempt to block the road and cause maximum disruption to people right across London.
“Our desire is that Just Stop Oil come forward and speak with us, so we can actually work with them.
"Twenty million pounds from the public purse is a lot of money. I would much, much prefer to be using that within communities."
Commander Kyle Gordon called on the group to engage with the force
The senior officer said new policing powers granted under Section 7 of the Public Order Act 2023 had allowed the Met to be more proactive in dealing with activists who block roads in the capital.
Police can arrest those who commit an act "which interferes with the use or operation of any key national infrastructure in England and Wales".
Since the powers were first used in October, 657 Just Stop Oil activists have been arrested, the highest number of arrests ever made in response to mass unlawful disruption, Scotland Yard said.
The Met Police said those arrested over the last five weeks, 338 have been charged, with a further 308 released on bail, with some arrested multiple times facing multiple charges.[3:21 PM] Millie Cooke
Susan Hall told GB News: "Just Stop Oil protesters have caused nothing but misery for Londoners, taking millions out of the police budget that would have been better spent solving crimes and keeping Londoners safe.
"While we respect the right to peacefully protest, the police must use their powers to crack down on those who cause needless disruption. As Mayor, I would ensure they do."
657 Just Stop Oil activists have been arrested
The Met said 10,500 officers’ shifts have been used this autumn, costing at least £3.5million.
Gordon added: "The new Public Order Act allows us to actually deal with people who are impacting on key national infrastructure."
Asked if he had any concerns about what tactics the group may employ in future campaigns, the commander said: “I’m not anxious about what Just Stop Oil might do.
“What I do hope they will do is, having seen our resolve to minimise the disruption, reach out and speak to us.”