- The protest is over increased tuition fees
- Thousands of students were expected to attend, authorities say
- Police deploy 4,000 officers in central London
Twenty-four people were arrested Wednesday during a London student protest over increased tuition fees, authorities said.
The arrests were made on suspicion of public order offenses; offensive weapons; breaching the peace; being masked; and "going equipped," or possessing equipment used for a criminal purpose, London's Metropolitan police said.
The protest was expected to involve thousands of demonstrators in central London. About 4,000 officers were deployed, and authorities said they were ready to use rubber bullets on protesters if violence broke out.
"We're always concerned there will be trouble," Simon Pountain, Metropolitan police commander, said before the protest. "It would be remiss of me not to have dealt with that in my planning for the event to make sure that I've got sufficient resources on duty to be able to deal with any eventuality. That's why I've got 4,000 officers available ... we'll be able to deal with any of those issues if they do arise. You've seen in previous protests where things can escalate and disorder can arise."