ACPO comment on HMIC’s report: The rules of engagement: A review of the August 2011 disorders

ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde

ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde, comments on HMIC’s review of public order policing following the disorder in August 2011

ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde said:

“The disorder seen on our streets in August was unprecedented and presented the police service and criminal justice system with huge challenges. It is a strength of British policing that we are willing to ask hard questions when mistakes are made, and both HMIC’s report today, and that of the Home Affairs Committee yesterday, help us to identify the lessons.

“The challenge remains for operational police commanders to make critical decisions within volatile and fast moving situations. We need to support those who take on such decisions in order to keep the public safe. As HMIC recognises, any course of action must be necessary and proportionate, work in practice as well as theory, and have consent within the British model. When disorder occurs the available tactics must include the necessary hard edge to resolve situations quickly and effectively.

“Within our model of 43 local police forces, both reports identify the capacity to gather intelligence and mobilise police officers quickly to deal with national threats as critical. More equipment and highly trained police officers come at a cost, in taking police officers away from local policing as well as monetary terms. These recommendations are not yet costed by HMIC: we will take time to consider them carefully and we look forward to talking to Government about how best the police service can respond.

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