A FORMER police detective from Oxford has joined climate protests in the capital, and said he is willing to be arrested for the cause.

Former Metropolitan Police detective sergeant John Curran is among thousands taking part in the mass Extinction Rebellion demonstration in London, calling for action on climate change.

On Monday the activists began to occupy key sites around Westminster, and at least eight people from Oxfordshire are thought to have been arrested so far.

Mr Curran, who camped overnight at the protests, was detained by officers during the first round of action in April.

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The 49-year-old, who has a three-year-old daughter and now makes guitars for a living in Oxford, said: "I am willing to be arrested again unless some changes happen.

"Clearly there is some frustration [for police] that they probably have better things to be doing, and I agree, but the responsibility for that must lie with the Government - take action and we won't have to be here."

Almost 600 Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested in the first two days of the two-week demonstration, after police enforced a Section 14 notice to stop 'serious disruption' to communities.

About 500 police officers are being drafted in from across England and Wales to help cope with the protests, which have seen some activists glue themselves to buildings and refuse to move.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said thousands of officers from the London force and colleagues around the country were working long hours in challenging conditions.

Extinction Rebellion wants the protests to be 'the biggest global act of non-violent civil disobedience in history.'

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A spokeswoman for the South East protesters said Oxford Brookes senior psychology lecturer and Oxford Extinction Rebellion organiser Ben Kenward, 42, was among those arrested at Victoria Embankment on Monday.

Sarah Lasenby, 81, a retired social worker and Quaker activist, was also arrested.

The spokeswoman also named 'Oxford dad Jon Kennedy' and 'Wantage-based mum-of-three Rebecca Malden' as arrestees.

A post on the Extinction Rebellion Oxford page yesterday described those detained as 'brave rebels.'

It added: "It appears that the high number of arrests - with Oxon people at eight separate custodies - is resulting in delays in processing and interviews.

"Today Whitehall became a beautiful, buzzing place around the tents and rebels glued and locked-on, with kitchen in full swing, singing, trainings, and some MCs performing.

"Then came a massive downpour, and with it the police started dismantling our infrastructure, and removing rebel tents in Whitehall - but rather than being dismayed by this, the rebels embraced it with joyous dancing in the rain.

"The rebels moved on from Whitehall have joined other sites, principally at St James' Park."

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The post added that police 'were not tempted by our offers of chocolate biscuits' and later brought out metal crowd barriers.

Extinction Rebellion Wantage posted pictures on Facebook today of 'two of our brave and wonderful arrestees from Wantage Extinction Rebellion group', adding: "We are so very proud of you."

Just last week, Oxford activists Rowan Tilly and Mike Betts walked free from court, after a technicality saw charges against them dropped in relation to the Extinction Rebellion protests in the capital in April.

Both said they will be taking part this week, and Ms Tilly said she would risk arrest again if it meant getting action on climate change.

Those unable to get to London have been holding banners in Oxford's Frideswide Square, with protests expected there every morning this week.