Environmental protesters blocked some of London’s busiest roads and vandalised Shell’s headquarters as demanded action on climate change.

Thousands of people gathered at five central London locations on Monday in a bid to bring the capital to a standstill.

Some activists glued themselves to windows and smashed glass revolving doors at Shell’s HQ near Waterloo, while others climbed the building to spray graffiti and hang banners.

Police said three men and two women were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and taken to a police station in central London in connection with the incidents at the Shell offices as officers remained at the scene into the evening.

Campaign group Extinction Rebellion said it aimed to cause more than £6,000 damage so they can be tried by a jury in Crown Court.

Thousands of people joined protests across central London to demand the Government declares a climate emergency.

Skateboarders replaced cars and lorries on Waterloo Bridge as the Thames crossing was closed to traffic and decorated with pot plants and trees.

Police on the bridge said there were no plans to move protesters on but indicated that the response could change if there is major disruption at rush hour.

One officer said: “It’s been very peaceful so far. Everyone has been really pleasant.

“The only grief we’ve had is from passing motorists shouting at them to ‘Get a job’ – that’s about as exciting as it’s got.”

A bright pink boat became the focus for hundreds of activists stopping traffic at Oxford Circus