POLICE have told the public to avoid the city centre on Friday as environmental protestors plan to block roads.

West Mercia Police said there will be a “heightened police presence” as members of environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion “swarm” to block one of the busiest roads in Worcester on Friday (September 20).

The group has not yet revealed which road will be blocked and will announce the location on Friday morning to coincide with a number of national youth and general climate strikes.

Police have advised the public to plan alternative routes and allow extra time for journeys.

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Superintendent Damian Pettit from West Mercia Police said: “We realise that people may be concerned about the potential impact of this event and want to reassure them that we are working closely with our partners to ensure there will be minimal disruption and that protecting our communities and businesses from harm remains our focus.

“The right to peacefully protest is a fundamental democratic right and our role is to ensure a proportionate policing response is put in place while preventing any crime and disorder that may occur.

“While we anticipate a peaceful protest on Friday, we do expect this event to cause some disruption to our city centre road network.

“I would therefore urge people to plan their journeys accordingly and allow for extra time on Friday, using alternative routes where possible so as to avoid the city centre.

“If you have any concerns on the day, please feel free to come and talk to any of our officers who will be more than happy to help.

“In addition to the officers specifically policing this event, your local neighbourhood officers will still be carrying out their usual high-visibility patrols to keep the wider local community safe too.”

Updates will be posted on the Worcester News website.