News story

Police powers to be reviewed following protest

Theresa May tells Parliament that lessons will be learned from violence during protest.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Home Secretary has spoken to the House of Commons about a central London protest on Saturday which resulted in injuries among police and the public.

She reported that:

  • 4,500 officers attended the march
  • 31 police officers were injured, eleven requiring hospital treatment
  • 53 members of the public were injured
  • 201 arrests made with 149 charged

Read her statement here.

Mrs May said that acts of violence were carried out against the police, private property and public monuments. She expressed her gratitude to officers who ‘put themselves in harm’s way during Saturday’s operation.’

Review will take place

Tactics used by police showed they had learned lessons from student demonstrations in December last year, she said, but more can be done.

Officials in Home Office will now review the powers available to the police. Police themselves have been asked to consider whether they need further powers to prevent violence before it occurs.

Mrs May said: ‘I am willing to consider the introduction of an order to ban known hooligans from attending rallies and marches, as happens for people found guilty of football-related violence. 

‘And I will look into the powers the police have to force the removal of face coverings and balaclavas.  If the police need more help to do their work, I will not hesitate in granting it to them.’

She concluded: ‘We will always back the police when they do their important work, and we will back them as they do everything they can to bring these mindless thugs to justice.’

Published 28 March 2011