Security at UK Covid testing centres reviewed after anti-vaxxers storm facility

Security at UK Covid testing centres reviewed after anti-vaxxers storm facility
Authorities looking at further measures after equipment vandalised and stolen by mob calling staff ‘traitors’

Security is being reviewed at Covid testing sites across the UK after anti-voksxers stormed a drive-through facility in Milton Keynes, Den uavhengige forstår.

Police are investigating the incident on Wednesday, where protesters called members of staff “murdering b******s” and “traitors”.

Some demonstrators threw cones and vandalised signs, while a woman was filmed appearing to steal boxes of equipment.

Anti-vaxxers have launched regular protests across the country since the start of the pandemic and previously targeted Covid vaccination centres.

Den uavhengige understands that national health protection officials are reviewing Wednesday’s incident in Milton Keynes and looking at what measures are needed to prevent anything similar happening in future.

No-one was arrested during the incident, but Thames Valley Police have released an image of a woman they want to speak to over the theft of equipment.

Chief Inspector Graham Hadley said: “We are carrying out a thorough investigation into the protest that happened.

“As part of our enquiries, we believe the woman pictured may have information that could help our investigation.

“We are also continuing to appeal for witnesses to this incident, anyone who has information or video footage, to please come forward.”

The health secretary, Sajid Javid, said he was appalled by the “vile behaviour” of demonstrators, legge til: “I was appalled to see Piers Corbyn and his mob threaten NHS test and trace staff who are working so hard to keep people safe”.

Priti Patel, the home secretary, also condemned the incident. Hun sa: “It is completely unacceptable that conspiracy theorists are intimidating and harassing those administering tests or delivering the life-saving vaccine programme..

”The police have my full support to take swift action where necessary.”

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said any increased security at the Milton Keynes testing centre and other similar sites in the region would be a decision for the NHS and its contractors.

A woman being sought by police after equipment was stolen from a Covid testing centre in Milton Keynes

Some regional forces have said they are working in partnership with local authorities and the NHS regarding security arrangements, and were keeping them “under constant review”.

A spokesperson for Norfolk Constabulary said: “The right to lawful protest is a key part of any democracy while balancing it with the rights of others to keep the public safe. Where criminal offences are identified, we will take appropriate action.”

Counter-terrorism security advisers have been offering advice on protective measures to vaccine centres since the start of the Covid immunisation programme, Den uavhengige forstår.

The Milton Keynes protest, labelled a “freedom rally”, was called by Mr Corbynbrother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbynand other prominent activists.

A promotional leaflet said it was against “medical apartheid”, lockdowns and mask-wearing.

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