The policing of peaceful protests: reaction or over reaction? A critical evaluation of the impact of the use of 'negotiated management' upon the policing of peaceful protests

Slevin, Martin D. (2011) The policing of peaceful protests: reaction or over reaction? A critical evaluation of the impact of the use of 'negotiated management' upon the policing of peaceful protests. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation will explore the historical and current perspective in relation to the policing of large scale protest events within the United Kingdom. It will explore a gradual move away from a position of ‘escalated force’, witnessed in the 1960’s to 1980’s in the UK, to a more moderate stance of ‘negotiated management’ that has developed through the 1980’s and 1990’s to the present day. It will focus on the development of ‘negotiation’ between the police and protest organisers with the aim of achieving a safe and peaceful protest event. This will be framed within the emergence of two factions being the English Defence League and United Against Fascism. The primary aim of the work is to critically evaluate the impact of the use of 'negotiated management' upon the policing of peaceful protests. It does this by exploring the impact of negotiation on the planning, operational and debrief phases of protests and also a cross border protest policing operation.

    The research methodology included a review of literature on protest in a historic and current context. A series of semi structured interviews took place which included police officers with experience of protest events in the role of silver commander, negotiator coordinator, negotiator and planners. A case study of a cross border protest event was also undertaken.

    The research suggests that although the use of ‘negotiated management’ using trained negotiators as opposed to senior officers or planners, is a relatively new concept, it has produced positive results in terms of ensuring events are planned and delivered within Human Rights and Public order legislation and Home Office and Police guidelines. In turn this leads to safer and more peaceful events, where the predictability of protest events is increased and the risk is reduced. The overwhelming views of the participants, was that the use of trained negotiators, in the planning, operational and debrief phases of protest events, was of significant value. However, it is suggested that a national model of delivery needs to be developed to ensure consistency of approach.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 13:51
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:50
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/5692

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