Greens launch formal complaint over G20 policing

Greens fear entering a 'new era of violent policing'
Greens fear entering a 'new era of violent policing'

By Laura Miller

The Metropolitan Police commissioner has received a formal letter of complaint from Green party member Jenny Jones following concerns about the treatment of the G20 protesters by police.

"The protesters' stories of police brutality and the police's story of complete professionalism just don't stack up," she said.

Ms Jones, the Green's home affairs spokesperson and a member of the London Assembly, raised her concerns to the Met on 2nd April, during the MPA's Strategic and Operational Policing Committee.


She criticised the 'kettling' of protesters - where police surround groups to contain them or force them out through a single exit - outside the Bank of England and in the Climate Camp in Bishopsgate.

"The protesters' stories of police brutality and the police's story of complete professionalism just don't stack up," Ms Jones said today.

The Met joined with officers from British Transport Police, City of London, Essex, Sussex, Thames Valley and Bedfordshire to police the reportedly 35,000 strong crowds.

But Green party leader Caroline Lucas MEP, who was at the protest, called police tactics during its biggest operation in history "disproportionate and provocative".

Ian Tomlinson, a 47-year-old who worked in a newsagent, died during the protest. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the death.

Ms Jones said: "If the police were hitting people who were sitting down with their hands up, we have entered a new era of overt violent policing in Britain that will deter people from protesting and cut back our civil liberties.

"As a Metropolitan Police Authority member I have demanded a meeting to examine the contradictions and a report will be coming to the next Authority meeting.'

The next MPA meeting is 13th April at City Hall.

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