Unprecedented pressure on the police

By politics.co.uk staff

The Met is under unprecedented pressure today, as the full political ramifications of G20 policing begin to hit home.

Nick Hardwick, head of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will face MPs on the home affairs committee on Tuesday, followed by the chief inspector of constabulary, Denis O’Connor.

A small rearguard defence against the growing avalanche of criticism was made this morning by Sir Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).

He told the Today programme: “I can’t find any other country which doesn’t use water cannon, CS gas, rubber bullets. Our approach is proportionate and, in fact, has delivered on many other occasions.”

The IPCC has received almost 90 complaints relating to the protests. Over the weekend, a third video of what appears to be an unprovoked attack against a demonstrator triggered a new inquiry.

This morning, news surfaced of communication between the government and E.ON, an energy company, concerning the movements and plans of environmental demonstrators.

Civil servants sent emails to security officials at the company sharing intelligence about the demonstrators.

The emails emerged after a freedom of information request by the Liberal Democrats.

David Howarth MP, who obtained the emails, said: “It is as though BERR [the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform] was treating the police as an extension of E.ON’s private security operation.

“The question is how did that [police] intelligence get to BERR? Did it come via the Home Office or straight from police? And once they’d got this intelligence, what did they do with it?”