Policing Large Scale Disorder

The Home Affairs Committee has concluded its inquiry into Policing Large Scale Disorder: Lessons from the disturbances of August 2011 and published its Report.


The Committee's Report on Policing Large Scale Disorder: Lessons from the disturbances of August 2011 was published on 19 December 2011.

Oral and written evidence has been published.

Additional written evidence has been published.

Government Response

The Government's Response (Cm 8292) was published in February 2012.

Terms of reference

The Committee issued the following terms of reference on 15 August 2011:

  • Police relations with the communities where violence took place before the riots, including similarities with and differences from previous public disorder events;
  • The role of social media in spreading disorder and in the response to it;
  • The role of organised groups in promoting disorder;
  • The role of the IPCC, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, and ACPO/NPIA public order guidance;
  • The techniques used by the police to quell the rioting, including: a) Decisions taken over the deployment of police officers (availability of officers, response times), b) The use of standard techniques: containment, dispersal, specialist public order officers, dogs, horses, c) The deployment of non-standard techniques: armoured police cars, baton rounds, water cannon, curfews
  • Variations in the responses of different police forces;
  • Lessons to be learned from the police response to previous public disorder incidents;
  • Training of officers to deal with riots;
  • Whether there were any constraints on the police such as limited resources or powers;
  • Whether there should be any changes to the legislation regulating normal policing processes during times of major disorder;
  • Whether the age of many of the rioters constrained the police in their use of anti-riot technique;
  • The application of the Riot (Damages) Act 1886; and
  • To revisit relevant recommendations made in previous Home Affairs Committee reports into Policing the G20 protests and Knife crime, and other relevant recommendations, to assess if they have been implemented by successive governments.



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