Just got sent this:
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sukey Comments on today’s HMIC Report
9th February 2011, 10.15am
Team Sukey, authors of the online tool that helps keep protesters safe at
demonstrations, is delighted by the continued positive interest in our work
from journalists and activists around the world.
We believe our project is contributing to public order and increasing safety
on the ground during legal protests by reducing tensions on the street to
the point where police do not feel the need to use the highly controversial
technique of kettling.
The publication of the H.M. Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) Public Order
Review today makes it clear that the police are struggling to cope with the
increased volume and frequency of protests. This is not helped by proposed
cuts to their budgets that will see large numbers of officers lose their
Worryingly, the problem identified by the last HMIC report in 2009 that
there is no overarching agreed set of principles on the use of force has
still not been addressed. Moreover the proposed timetable for recommended
extra training for front-line officers means that most will not have been
properly trained for another two years.
Sukey would like to step into that gap and help provide a safe room in which
protesters and the police can meet as equals and work together to enable
peaceful protest by sharing information openly and honestly.
Kettling is having a chilling effect on the democratic right to peaceful
protest and is directly increasing the possibility of violence.
We want to see an end a tactic that in the words of a senior doctor risks
repeating a Hillsborough-type tragedy and which has been condemned by the
chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority's civil liberties panel Victoria
We have been delighted to receive countless messages of support from people
including this heart-warming message that should stand us a reminder to what
we are doing:
"We are planning to be at the 26th March TUC demo. We would like to know how
to avoid trouble and violence, from any quarter. We are both 60+ and there
are health reasons for not being kettled or near violent people. Good luck
with your work "
Our work coincides entirely with the police goal of preserving public order.
It goes without saying that we are addressing concerns that we restrict
criminals from exploiting it.
The best way to prevent trouble on the streets is to restore faith in the
ballot box and to restore faith in the police. We hope by increasing
transparency and accountability for the police and protesters that we are
playing a key role in doing so.