Police were called to an anti-5G protest in North Devon this afternoon where campaigners were not complying with social distancing guidelines.
Protesters had planned to march from Barnstaple library to the nearby police and council offices to deliver a letter outlining their objections to the mobile phone technology.
They claim the mobile phone technology is dangerous and has health implications, though these claims have been widely disputed.
However, tensions rose when police officers were called to the library after due to concerns about the group gathering and not following social distancing guildelines.
The protest was organised by a Facebook group called “5G Awareness Barnstaple North Devon”.
On their public Facebook group it states: “Our mission is to inform as many people, as quickly and concisely as possible, about the real and imminent dangers of 5G.
“We will soon be leafleting, and as soon as possible, will be having a public meeting with eminent and knowledgeable speakers on the subject.”
The march today was organised via the group’s Facebook page where it was described as a “totally peaceful event”.
At least eight police officers attended the scene and warned the protesters about keeping their distance from one another.
However, some protesters refused to comply with the police’s requests.
At one point an officer told the small crowd: “If you don’t go away, I’m going to start issuing tickets for a £60 fine and every time you get a ticket that will go up.”
After several please with the group, who refused to move on, the officer said: “Is there anything else I can say to you to make you move away now?”
One protester responded “no” and the officer returned to his vehicle to collect the tickets.
At this stage it is not known how many, if any, protesters were issued with fines.
At least one campaigner was seen in handcuffs being spoken to by officers at the rear of a police van.
Some of the protesters did disperse and continued their planned march to the police station, while following the social distancing guidelines and staying two metres apart.
They were greeted at the door of the police station by North and West Devon Police superintendent Toby Davies who asked them to place the letter on the floor so he could collect it at a safe distance.