Met Under Review Over Public Order Policing

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 106 months ago
Met Under Review Over Public Order Policing

In the wake of another police officer being suspended for apparently assaulting a woman (as we told you earlier) during the G20 protests, the Met have launched a number of investigations into the tactics that we discussed last week.

The Metropolitan Police Authority (the one headed by Boris) are asking for an explanation for the rationale behind the tactics, and Sir Paul Stephenson has ordered a review of all footage taken by police to see if they can identify any more incidents that need looking into. (They might want to pay a visit to the Guardian, who've posted multiple videos on their site.) The Commissioner also publicly confirmed that uniformed police must always wear their shoulder ID numbers, after film revealed the two suspended officers had removed them. Naughty. And the IPCC are already looking into alleged assaults on Ian Tomlinson shortly before his death, as well as footage that emerged yesterday of a woman being struck across the face and batoned around the legs.

But it's the investigation by HM's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Denis O'Connor, that has the potential to make the biggest ruckus. O'Connor will review public order tactics, like kettling, and Channel 4 News understands the remit isn't just limited to the Met - it will look at Kent police's actions at last summer's Kingsnorth Climate Camp and the pre-emptive arrests in Nottinghamshire over the weekend.

It's probably safe to say none of this would have happened if it weren't for a certain amount of that awful phrase: citizen journalism. Understandably, that ban on filming and photographing police is in the firing line again. Even though the ban is supposed to apply only to snaps that might 'aid terrorists', the law is so vague it's been used and abused - but without these images, would the official Met version of events ever have been challenged, never mind got to the stage we're at now? Eh?

Last Updated 16 April 2009