Watchdog Warning Over Policing Protests

The police have been told to adapt more quickly to the changing nature of protests in London and the UK

The watchdog said changes recommended two years ago were taking too long to take effect and with demonstrations and protests now able to be arranged in a short space of time via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook an Inspectorate of Constabulary report questions whether the police are ready to cope as demonstrations seem to be higher in number, causing more disruption and even increasing in violence than ever before.

The HMIC also said it had reviewed how prepared forces were for sudden protests and had found that more than 40% of them had not tested their plans.

It also questioned their ability to support each other over constabulary borders.

“If the frequency and spread of events accelerates and they become more contentious, the resilience for providing cross-border support will not only be tested, but potentially undermined when the arrangements put in place by forces have not been proven in practice,” said the report.

The Metropolitan Police are still facing questions over its handling of protests by the English Defence League and the recent anti-cuts demonstrations, all of which were organised online.