Police Role When Dealing With Protest Demonstrations

1411 words - 6 pages

QUESTION 1Police have been, and are, subject to pressure from both local councils and members of the public to intervene when a demonstration takes place. The level of intervention required is subject to the manner of public demonstration taking place. In this instance, the 'protest demonstration' occurring seems somewhat civilized and therefore requires very little or no physical force, instead urging police to take on a peace-keeping role. This essay will examine the role of police in a peaceful demonstration with reference to the governing legislation for public assemblies in the Summary Offences Act 1988. Further analysis will study the rights of those involved in the ...view middle of the document...

When a public assembly is deemed 'authorised', notification is required by law, introduced in the Summary Offences Act 1988. This Act requests that all authorised demonstrations be in writing with the intention to hold a public assembly. This must be addressed to the Commissioner and has been served on the Commissioner prior to the event.The Summary Offences Act 1988 states that the correspondence must confirm the time, date and location of the event. It must also include the purpose for which the proposed public assembly is to be held and the amount of people attending the demonstration, to which it is sign by the organiser claiming responsibility for the event. In order to proceed further with the demonstration, the commissioner must reply to the organiser, indicating no opposition to the request. The importance of these procedures allows police to organise and prepare for the event. Moreover, providing the needs of the demonstration and those involved with adequate protection.In conclusion, the role of police in the event of a peaceful demonstration is to maintain the order during the assembly without the use of force. A police officer must uphold a position which is non-biased and service the community with discretion (Waddington 1999). The demonstration noted involved small children and motor vehicles, therefore security in those initial areas are of notable importance. With the cooperation of participants by writing to the commissioner proposing the upcoming demonstration, the services of the police are accurately assessed and implemented accordingly. Thus, maintaining the concerns and needs of all those involved.QUESTION 2When dealing with young persons, police should treat situations where their response is required with caution. The history of the relationships between police and the youth is especially delicate. White's (1994) study into this suggests that a significant amount of marginalised youth questioned, report violent behaviour towards them from police officers. The severity of these statements needs to be acknowledged by officers when approaching young people on the street. This essay will examine the understanding police must adhere to when dealing with youth as stated in the scenario. The appropriate response will be studied with the application of the three broad influences outlined in White's (1994) study into 'Police Practices and Youth Behaviour'.The position of the police officer in the outlined scenario needs to consider their obligations to both the shopkeeper and the youths in question. As outlined in the study by White (1994), one of the broad influences to a police officers approach is the adaptation to the pressures involved from both parties. Thus the concerns of the shopkeeper must initially be established. A group of young people can be somewhat threatening to any individual approaching them. So the behaviour of the youths may also determine the approach of the police officers. If the youths are merely loitering...

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