Friday, 7 August 2009

Police tactics

In the news today (6th August) the police have been criticised for their tactics at the G20 protests. These tactics have raised concerns about the way that the police act, and among these concerns the police were criticised for refusing to let a woman who was bleeding leave a cordon for five hours. In my opinion it doesn't matter if you are ill or in perfect health but if you are held in a cordon for five hours then this may be enough for many peaceful protestors to think about turning to violence.

I wrote about the police tactics at the time of the demonstations and pointed out that there were questions to be answered. One chief inspector, Denis O'Connor has now said that the actions of some G20 officers was "unacceptable", and according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission the police need to look at the tactics they use and to change them.

It is good to read that an inquiry has highlighted shortcomings and hopefully action will follow, but I am concerned that someone in the recent past has decided that the police can act anonymously, that they can push over peaceful people who may not even be part of a protest, and that a cordon is a useful technique to prevent riots.

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