Scotland Yard to review G20 footage

Scotland Yard will undertake an internal review of hundreds of hours of police footage recorded during the G20 protests to identify if any further incidents require investigation.

Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said officers will look for any further matters that "warrant investigation" as trouble flared between demonstrators and police.

The senior officer also called in Government inspectors to review controversial public order policing tactics, including the "kettling" of large groups for long periods of time.



Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Denis O'Connor, will lead the review of tactics which have been fiercely criticised in the aftermath of the protests.

Sir Paul also said officers must always display shoulder identification numbers after claims two suspended territorial support group officers were not wearing them.

He said: "G20 was a complex policing operation, managing the movement and protection of many heads of state across the capital while balancing the right to lawful protest and maintaining public order for many thousands of people.

"It is also the case that a number of complaints have been raised in relation to the tactic of containment and as to whether this achieves that balance. I want to be reassured that the use of this tactic remains appropriate and proportionate.

"Separately, I have already expressed my concern that the video footage of some police actions are clearly disturbing and should be thoroughly investigated.

"As well as the post-event investigation into those responsible for violence and disorder, I have also ensured that footage in police possession is reviewed to identify any other matters of individual police conduct that may warrant investigation.

"One matter that I also want to make clear is that uniformed police officers should be identifiable at all times by their shoulder identification numbers.

"The public has a right to be able to identify any uniformed officer whilst performing their duty. We must ensure this is always the case."



A spokeswoman for London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "There are clearly concerns about some aspects of the policing of the G20 protests and these are rightly being independently investigated by the IPCC.

"The Mayor fully supports the Commissioner's decision to ask HMIC to carry out a review of the G20 policing tactics. The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) will discuss the policing of G20 at its next meeting on April 30.

"Throughout the G20, the Mayor was in regular contact with the Commissioner and was satisfied overall that disruption was minimal and that thousands were able to exercise their right to peaceful protest."

Kit Malthouse, who is vice chairman of the MPA, welcomed Sir Paul's "swift and decisive action".

He said: "It is vital that the police retain the trust of Londoners and a thorough review by the HMIC will be crucial to help inform conclusions about how public order events should be policed in the future.

"The most recent footage of G20 is alarming and I also fully support the Commissioner referring the matter to the IPCC and suspending the officer concerned pending the outcome of the independent investigation.

"The MPA has already convened an urgent meeting of its members to review tactics employed during G20 protests and will be questioning the Commissioner about this matter in public at its meeting on 30 April.

"While we take this matter extremely seriously, it is worth pointing out that the Metropolitan Police are responsible for maintaining public order during dozens of protests throughout the year.

"The vast majority pass off peacefully, and the recent demonstration by the Tamil community in Parliament Square is an example of this.

"Nevertheless we cannot afford to skate over even isolated incidents and must get to the truth and learn the lessons of both this incident, that involving Ian Tomlinson, and the G20 generally."

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