Committee to look into policing of G20 protests

23 April 2009

The Home Affairs Committee has announced the scope of its investigation into the policing of the G20 protests in London at the beginning of April

The inquiry will focus in particular on the following issues:

  • Training given to police officers in respect of policing public protests;
  • Priorities of police in relation to protests (protection of people, defence of property, balancing interests of the right to protest against the right to go about one's lawful business without hindrance);
  • Factors taken into consideration by senior officers when deciding how to police demonstrations (eg how many police should be deployed, whether or not to contain protesters, whether to deploy riot gear and riot tactics, use of mounted police);
  • Definition of 'reasonable force' and 'peaceful protest';
  • At what level of command decisions are taken in relation to evolving protests;
  • Use of specialist squads;
  • Relations between the police and the media, including restrictions on photography;
  • Political pressures on police (eg to avoid disorder in high profile events);
  • Dissemination of best practice.

Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee said:

"This Inquiry will be critical to look at how the demonstrations were policed, how officers were trained to deal with protestors and what tactics were used to control crowds. The protests have highlighted the need for a review of police behaviour.

"The Committee will be taking evidence from a wide range of those involved in the protests and look forward to hearing what exactly happened and what lessons can be learnt, starting with the Metropolitan Commissioner next Tuesday."

The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.

Image: PA Photos

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