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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Police hunt May Day 'troublemakers'
montage of suspects
Police caught last year's suspects on film
Police are calling on members of the public to help identify five people suspected of causing damage at last year's May Day demonstrations in central London.

The four men and one woman are accused of committing a series of public order and criminal damage offences at protests in Oxford Circus.

We would urge anyone who has information as to who they are and where they live to contact police

Detective Sergeant Paul Kitely

They were caught on camera by police filming the violence, but have yet to be arrested.

Law-abiding demonstrators and members of the public are being asked to report them.

"Our inquiries into identifying these five people continue," Detective Sergeant Paul Kitely said.

"We would urge anyone who has information as to who they are and where they live to contact police."

Law enforcers are expecting up to 400 "hard core" violent protesters to join anti-globalisation rallies this year.

Last year demonstrators were held by riot police in Oxford Circus for several hours.

Police plans

Police have vowed to again take a firm stance against troublemakers this year.

"Criminal activity will not be accepted and we will not allow it to go unchallenged," Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Todd said.

But he stressed that police do not view the event as "a rematch of any kind".

I do still have fears about what we can expect

Michael Todd, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner

This year the wealthy area of Mayfair has been identified as a potential target for trouble.

Mr Todd said there will be about 6,000 police on duty. While that is almost the same number as last year, officers will be more spread out to combat street crime.

"This is not like policing a static demo," the assistant commissioner said.

"We don't know numbers, venues or exact times and so we have to mount an operation that can deal with that."
About 6,000 officers will be deployed on May Day

Scotland Yard has warned that some protestors may employ 'guerrilla tactics' to bring violence to the protests, fanning out across large areas to avoid being hemmed in by police.

Asked whether he was concerned about the demonstrations, Mr Todd said: "Last year I had very real concerns as the event had a focal point and we had very good intelligence about Oxford Street.

"This year we are putting together a similar operation and I do still have fears about what we can expect."

'Critical mass'

This year's protest will start at 0730 with a 'critical mass' bike ride, according to the websites of the groups organising the protests.

Cyclists will start out from two locations in London and travel as slowly as possible to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.

The aim is to disrupt rush-hour traffic.

An official TUC May Day march is scheduled for the afternoon, followed by a 'Sex Workers Pride' march in Soho.

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