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New Clause 11 – Consolidated protest guidance | Public Order Bill | Public Bill Committees

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

The new clause makes provision for consolidated protest guidance, bringing together the College of Policing’s public order authorised professional practice, the NPCC’s operational advice for protest policing and the NPCC’s protest aide-mémoire. The guidance must also include specific updated guidance about the protest technique of locking on. Similarly to the previous new clause, new clause 11 would help the police—in what we think is a broadly-defined piece of legislation—gather the guidance and equip themselves with the statistics necessary to do their job to the best of their ability. If the evidence sessions pointed to anything, it was that at the top of the police, there are good practices of introspection. They talk about and share good practice and want to scrutinise what is done well and what is done badly. The new clause merely puts that in law.

On training, Matt Parr believed that more could be done—although he was complimentary in some areas. The Minister talked about the specialist forces. He highlighted that that was patchy. When it comes to provisions on the policing of protests in this legislation, the NPCC remains concerned about some aspects of the document’s commentary, which it felt were open to misinterpretation. For that reason, we think it would be better to have that clarity in the law, which the new clause seeks to do.