'Total Policing' was tested on a student protest in the capital. The tactics saw passionate student expression of political engagement replaced by demonstrators being surrounded and corralled along a route by 4,000 police. UK. 9th November 2011
A fundamental change in the way that the police are responding to protest demonstrations, the method of 'Total Policing' was tested on the latest London student protest. The tactics saw last year's passionate student expression of political engagement replaced by little more than a sanitised rolling kettle.
Prior to the protest, the Metropolitan police issued warning letters to anyone who had been arrested in connection with previous public order offences and, for the first time on the British mainland, pre-authorised the use of baton rounds on a demonstration.
The total policing on the day translated into demonstrators being surrounded and corralled along a route by an army of 4000 police, with every side street blocked off, and the reduction of the march into a moving kettle, followed by stationary ones, with "additional conditions" for the march announced after it had begun. Undercover snatch squads were used, the demonstrators' movements watched and filmed on the ground and from above, dogs and horses deployed pre-emptively, while extra restrictions available to the police under the Public Order Act 1986, sections 12 and 14, meant limits imposed on the time students were allowed to remain at the rally point in Moorgate.