Three people arrested after multiple protests take place at Wimbledon

Three people arrested after multiple protests take place at Wimbledon

Three people have been arrested after two protests disrupted tennis at Wimbledon on the tournament’s third day.

Two men and a woman, all wearing T-shirts with “Just Stop Oil” printed on them, have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage after throwing orange confetti and jigsaw puzzle pieces on to a court.

The two incidents occurred about two hours apart on Wednesday.

JSO protester carried off court 18
A Just Stop Oil protester is carried off court 18 (Adam Davy/PA)

The first featured Deborah Wilde, 68, a retired teacher from London, and Simon Milner-Edwards, 66, a retired musician from Manchester, Just Stop Oil said.

It happened just after 2pm during a match between Grigor Dimitrov and Sho Shimabukuro.

The second disrupted play between British number one Katie Boulter and her opponent Daria Saville, both of whom helped clear the court after an activist was escorted away.

The Metropolitan Police tweeted after the latter protest: “We are aware of an incident on Court 18 whereby one male has unlawfully entered the field of play and discharged items onto the playing surface.

Katie Boulter helps ground staff clear confetti from Court 18
Katie Boulter helps ground staff clear confetti from Court 18 (Adam Davy/PA)

“He was immediately removed from the Grounds and arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage.”

Wimbledon said on Twitter after the first stoppage: “Following an incident on Court 18, two individuals have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage and these individuals have now been removed from the Grounds.”

The first protest happened as Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer held talks with police and sports chiefs on how to prevent Just Stop Oil activists targeting flagship events.

Braverman said after the meeting: “The protesters at Wimbledon were determined to ruin the day’s play for spectators and sports fans across the world.

Just Stop Oil protesters are detained by police after throwing orange confetti on Court 18
Just Stop Oil protesters are detained by police after throwing orange confetti on Court 18 (Jonathan Veal/PA)

“This is unacceptable. We will be uncompromisingly tough on the selfish protesters intent on spoiling our world-class sporting occasions this summer.

“The discussions I chaired at Downing Street were very productive. Sports, police and Government are united against preventing further disruption of this kind.”

The second Ashes Test at Lord’s, the Gallagher Premiership rugby final at Twickenham and the World Snooker Championship have also been affected in recent months.

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said “we can’t leave it to the next generation to pick up the pieces”.

A Just Stop Oil protester is carried off Court 18
A Just Stop Oil protester is carried off Court 18 (Adam Davy/PA)

Boulter said the incident took her by surprise and expects Wimbledon organisers to increase security going forward.

She said: “It was obviously a little bit of a shock to the system. I think we both handled it really well. It’s a really unfortunate situation for everyone.

“I wouldn’t say I felt in danger. I was quite far away from it. I was walking the opposite side.

“I’m pretty sure there will be a reaction to what’s been happening and there will be more security in place or whatever they need to do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Katie Boulter looks on as ground staff clear confetti from Court 18
Katie Boulter looks on as ground staff clear confetti from Court 18 (Adam Davy/PA)

Dimitrov said he had been tempted to intervene during the protest at his match.

He said: “My first reaction was initially to go, but then I also realised that’s not my place to do that.

“Obviously it’s not pleasant. At the end of the day there is not much you can do.

“I think everyone in a way did their part as quick as possible.”