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Policing the UK's anti-fracking movement: facilitating peaceful protest or facilitating the industry

Gilmore, J, Jackson, WH, Monk, HL and Short, D (2020) Policing the UK's anti-fracking movement: facilitating peaceful protest or facilitating the industry. Peace Human Rights Governance (PHRG), 4 (3). pp. 349-390. ISSN 2532-3474

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Open Access URL: https://phrg.padovauniversitypress.it/2020/3/3 (Published version)

Abstract

Official public order policing policy in England and Wales has apparently undergone significant changes in the period since the G20 meeting in London in 2009 in order to move towards a new ‘human rights compliant’ framework, based on dialogue, communication and a commitment to ‘facilitating’ peaceful protest, which was proposed as a necessary response to help the police service ‘adapt to the modern day demands of public order policing’ (HMIC 2009, 27). It was our aim in conducting this research to test this official position against the empirical reality of the policing of ‘anti-fracking’ protests across the UK. Drawing upon longitudinal case studies of the policing of UK-wide protests against ‘fracking’, this paper seeks to make a contribution to the growing body of academic research that seeks to evaluate the impact of the apparent policing policy changes on the ‘real-world’ day-to-day operational policing of such protests. In developing our analysis, we draw attention to the definitions of ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ protest defined by the police and consider the extent to which these definitions are reflected in the police response to anti-fracking protest. The article suggests that, in the case of antifracking protests, an official policing commitment to a human rights approach to protest facilitation is at odds with the empirical reality.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Divisions: Justice Studies (new Sep 19)
Publisher: University of Padova Human Rights Centre
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2020 12:15
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2020 12:15
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14157

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