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Viral videos show the moment a man accused of immigration offences was released by police after hundreds of protesters blocked a van he was in.

The footage was captured in Peckham south London, on Saturday afternoon and shows a crowd of people sitting on the ground in front of the vehicle, chanting “let him go”.

Other videos posted online showed the crowd cheering and chanting “shame on you” as officers left the scene while others accuse the police of behaving violently with the crowds.

Eleanor Janega, 39, from south-east London, told the PA news agency: “We were alerted that there was an immigration raid in process so locals came down to block it.

“We had been sitting here blocking the van and having ice lollies. They brought more police in and tried to break through the crowd by pushing us. We all sat down.”

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Here are a few videos from the scene:


A Met Police spokesperson confirmed a man arrested on suspicion of immigration offences had been released from the van and is currently on bail.

In a statement, the force said: “Police were called to Evan Cook Close, SE15, on Saturday, 11 June, shortly after 1.30pm to a report of protesters obstructing immigration officers.

“Officers attended and found a van was being prevented from leaving the location. One man has been arrested by Border Force officers on suspicion of immigration offences. Officers remain at the scene.”

A Home Office spokesperson told the Independent: “The government is tackling illegal immigration and the harm it causes, often to the most vulnerable people, by removing those with no right to be in the UK. The operation in Southwark was conducted in relation to suspected immigration offences.

“Preventing immigration enforcement teams from doing their job is unacceptable. Blocking or obstructing them will not deter them from undertaking the duties that the public rightly expect them to carry out.”

indy100 has contacted the Met.

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