Intelligence is limited

Police briefing for Dec 9 protest released

11 March 2011


The BBC have released an internal police briefing for the education protests of December 8 & 9 last year. Article and full PDF here. I suggest you read the whole thing, but here are some hilarious excerpts, with translation for those fortunate enough not to have had a run-in with the boys in blue recently.

“…there are numerous open source information feeds that suggest that there will be demonstrations throughout the Capital”
We now have Facebook. We’ve taken to annoying our children on it and using the phrase ‘web 2.0′ a lot.

“NUS – Lobby of Parliament between 1 pm and 3pm . What this means we are unsure of”
We don’t know. Parliament doesn’t know. Students don’t know. Even the Trots don’t know. As far as we can tell no one but Aaron Porter has a clue what this means.

“I know I need not remind you that Protest is not an offence”
I probably need to remind you. By making this sentence a bit convoluted hopefully some of you will forget.

“…we know they will be noisy and they may upset others with their views. These reasons, in themselves are not sufficient to require police intervention”
Being loudly opinionated is not an offence. Yet.

“Intelligence is limited.”
Well, quite…

“We have developed a cunning plan”
It is as cunning as a fox who has just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University, but will probably lose its job what with all the cuts and fee hikes and stuff. Note to self: check if Blackadder’s plans ever actually come off.

“‘Surging ‘, whereby part of a march will slow or stop and then rush forward, this may be startling for those who have not experienced it before, but generally does not require police intervention”
We have been unable to make running in the street a crime. You may use your discretion on protesters slowly moving towards you in wheelchairs.

“Officers should be patient and use the time to persuade and cajole individuals to move”
Cajoling can include the use of batons where appropriate.

“Previous experience indicates that it is likely that groups of individuals will try to occupy ‘high profile’ buildings . This will not be allowed to happen!”
Or I will be very, very cross! *stamps foot*

“Troublesome Groups [...] If such groups are identified, FIT and EG teams may be deployed, and if appropriate, reserve serials will be deployed to monitor”
As you will all know, this means anyone deviating from A-to-B marching, in possession of friends, wearing black, being black, looking like a dirty hippy or the aforementioned wheelchair users. Contrary to some suggestions, the TSG do not constitute a TroubleSome Group.

“It is recognised that innocent people may be caught up in a containment and we must ensure that it is enforced for no longer than is necessary”
Just long enough so that they never want to go on a protest again. Hypothermia, dehydration and really needing a wee are excellent deterrents

“A Containment Officer should be appointed as soon as possible to oversee its implementation and management and also to communicate with people contained”
Once appointed all other officers should engage in the fun game of directing protesters to anyone but the Containment Officer to maximise this ‘communication’.

“Welfare : Water, food, lavatories, weather”
We will not provide any of the above, except weather, which will be brought to you by our outsourced provider, the Earth.

“Negative Photo Opportunities [...] If drinking coffee or reading the paper when embussed, please be discrete”
Because a shot of you eating a doughnut with a latte will hurt us far more than those pictures of you beating the shit out of kids. It’s all about the media profile. (Or maybe I mean remain separate and distinct… should probably have asked a student to proof-read this)