This comes after 22 police officers were injured during clashes at a street party in south London. Two police officers and two members of the public were taken to hospital following the illegal music event which involved an estimated 400 people in Brixton on Wednesday.
Following this event the home secretary Priti Patel met with the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, demanding a “full explanation” of the incident.
Priti Patel’s involvement has been reportedly seen as a sign of hardening the government’s response to disorder.
Over the past two weeks during the coronavirus lockdown there have been two illegal raves in greater Manchester and street parties in London which have been broken up by police.
There have also been tens of thousands of people at beaches on the south coast which led Bournemouth council to declare a “major incident” on Thursday.
The government has been warned that hardline policing could lead to more disorder
Mr Johnson told people in England to get out and “enjoy themselves” on 4 July
Tim Newburn, professor of criminology and social policy at the London School of Economics, told the Guardian that political leaders “talking about crackdowns and firm policing” was “really fantastically unhelpful”.
He continued: “It tells young people that there’s likely to be conflict so be ready for it, but it also restricts the freedom of the police to act.”
Mr Newburn gave his thoughts on the Colston statue incident, in which anti-racism protestors threw the sculpture of a slave trader into a Bristol harbour.
He said: “If you say a particular kind of behaviour will be met with the full force of the law it puts operational commanders in a very difficult position.
Priti Patel’s involvement has been reportedly seen as a sign of hardening the government’s response
“What is needed at the moment is clear and firm messaging about the rules around the pandemic, but allowing police to exercise their judgement in difficult circumstances. That’s been lost.”
Police chiefs have reportedly accused the home secretary of “absolutely disgraceful” interference when she berated Andy Marsh, Avon and Somerset’s chief constable, for not stopping demonstrators from pulling down the statute of Edward Colston.
On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that people heading to the beaches in Bournemouth and across England were “taking too many liberties”.
He commented: “It’s crucial that people understand that on July 4 we get this right.
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Boris Johnson said people heading to the beaches across England were “taking too many liberties”
The approaching summer holidays is a “ticking time bomb”
“We do this in a balanced way and we recognise the risks.
“And so I say to everybody, you may think that you’re not going to get it and you’re immortal and invincible and so on – and very likely that’s true, particularly if you’re a young person.
“But the bug you carry can kill elderly people particularly.”
Earlier this week, Mr Johnson in an announcement told people in England to get out and “enjoy themselves” on 4 July, announcing that “the bustle is back”.
David Jamieson, police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, told the Guardian that the approaching summer holidays is a “ticking time bomb”.
He said: “we are not going to be able to arrest our way out of this unrest.
“There is a real sense that there is calamity on its way, especially when the furlough scheme comes to an end, and you’ve got lots of young, low-paid workers whose jobs have disappeared. There will be considerable unrest.”
Police chiefs have reportedly accused the home secretary of “absolutely disgraceful” interference
A chief constable told the Guardian that police would not be turned into “paramilitaries” by the government.
They said: “Force is there as a last resort. We are part of the community, not paramilitaries.
“Sustained use of force is a problem. Look at the impact of the miners’ strike. The police became paramilitaries. Once that happens, a lot of trust can go.”
Published at Fri, 26 Jun 2020 23:23:00 +0000