The right to protest peacefully is an important part of democratic life in England and Wales and the majority of demonstrations and marches take place without incident or arrests. However, some protests and public order incidents can be highly charged situations that involve difficult decisions about policing. The actions of the police in dealing with protests and public order are often subject to close public scrutiny. As guardian of the police complaints system, the IPCC has an important role to play in ensuring that public concerns are addressed. We have equal concern about the policing of football matches and other sporting events.
The IPCC independently investigates the most significant cases arising from public order incidents. As well as investigating the conduct of individual officers, we also share wider lessons learnt with all police forces. We are continually seeking to develop our knowledge and expertise in all aspects of public order policing, and to understand what styles and techniques work most effectively and appropriately. A priority for the IPCC is to gain greater insight into the experiences and views of members of the public and their representatives on how public order events are policed.
HMIC’s 2010 report on public order policing
HMIC’s 2009 report on policing of the G20 protests
The IPCC’s report on policing of the 2004 pro-hunting demonstration in Parliament Square
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