A mob in Peckham, South-East London, United Kingdom, has prevented the metropolitan police from arresting a Nigerian immigrant simply identified as James.
According to Daily Mail UK, Home Office officials had arrived in the Peckham neighbourhood on June 13 to arrest James, who was believed to have overstayed his visa but was prevented by fellow residents from taking him away.
The protesters were said to have surrounded the van that was supposed to take James away, forcing the officials to request police reinforcements.
The mob would chant ‘let him go’ for four hours during the stand-off.
James, the reason for the protest, is believed to live alone. His neighbours described him as a very friendly and respectful man in his late 30s’. They also said he is an active member of a local church.
Apart from the physical resistance put up by the protesters, anti-police movements took to social media platforms to further mobilise more people around London to join in the protest.
In the end, James was released on bail instead of being taken to an immigration removal centre.
According to Migration Watch, a pro-lower migration campaign group in Britain, 49,420 people overstayed their visas in the country between 2016 and 2017.
The group also claimed the number rose to 91,863 in 2020.