Antonin Artaud | 19.08.2009 10:49 | Policing
According to a statement on their website, the account has been set up to "specifically to inform the Camp for Climate Action of any operational updates relating to the policing of their event starting on 26 August."
To make the distance between them and everyone else more apparent, their Twitter policy states that "being followed by us does not imply endorsement of any kind." Sorry hippies. Just because the fuzz have an interest in you, doesn't mean they acknowledge you.
Their Twitter policy further states "The CO11 team reads all @replies and Direct Messages and ensures that any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are passed to the relevant people."
This could be fun....
They say it is designed specifically to relay information to participants of the Climate Camp.
The Twitter channel: http://twitter.com/CO11MetPolice currently has one update, simply saying "This is the official Metropolitan Police Twitter channel for #CO11" The account is only following one other twitter account - the Ministry of Justice http://twitter.com/JusticeUK
CO11 is responsible for public order policing as well as the Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) who overtly monitor, harass and try to disrupt political campaigners and others.
Several campaigners have dismissed the move by the MET CO11 unit as an attempt to repair their image after widespread condemnation following the policing of the G20 protests in which one man was killed after being attacked by police officers and countless others injured. The criticism of the policing of the G20 protests came after several reports also criticised the policing of previous climate camp protests, where protestors and members of the press were systematically abused by police officers over the duration of the protest.
The MET have also given assurances that they will employ a "community-style" policing operation for the Camp for Climate Action protest that will limit the use of surveillance units and stop-and-searches wherever possible.
Francis Wright, a Climate Camp legal adviser who will brief police officers on Thursday. "We're pleased they have been forthcoming and have been making some of the right noises, but we have to see how they deliver on the day."
Kevin Smith, who is helping plan the camp, said: "Given the enormous loss of public confidence that the police suffered as a result of the draconian tactics they used at Kingsnorth last year and during the G20, it's no surprise that they would want to be seen mounting a charm offensive at the Climate Camp.
"But we need to see if the authorities are going to take a more reasonable approach to the policing of protest in years to come when there might not be the massive public spotlight that there will be at the Climate Camp."
Following the G20 protests earlier in the year the police have been instructed to review aspects of their public order policing including the controversial use of 'kettling' protestors. They have also issued new guidelines on their powers under counter terrorism legislation regarding people taking photographs of police officers after a string of complaints that they were misusing powers to intimidate photographers and illegally force people to delete images from their cameras.
MPS C011 Twitter Policy
The CO11 Met Police Event Planning Team Twitter account is managed by the enews team in the Directorate of Public Affairs, on behalf of colleagues across the department.
The account has been set up to specifically to inform the Camp for Climate Action of any operational updates relating to the policing of their event starting on 26 August.
We may occasionally use some automation (such as tools which generate tweets from RSS feeds) but intend that this will not dominate the messages posted.
If you follow us, you can expect tweets covering some or all of the following:
* Operational updates about the policing of the Camp for Climate Action, relevant to participants
* Information from emergency services partners relevant to the safety and well being of participants of the Camp for Climate Action
* Crime prevention advice or local community information relevant to participants of the Camp for Climate Action
If you follow us on Twitter we will not automatically follow you back. This is to discourage the use of direct messaging, avoid resource wasting spam handling and so that you can easily identify other key Twitter users we think are relevant to our work in who we follow. Being followed by us does not imply endorsement of any kind.
We will update and monitor our Twitter account during periods of operational activity. Twitter may occasionally be unavailable and we accept no responsibility for lack of service due to Twitter downtime.
@Replies and Direct Messages
We welcome feedback and ideas from all our followers. However, we are not able to reply individually to the messages we receive via Twitter.
The CO11 team reads all @replies and Direct Messages and ensures that any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are passed to the relevant people.
The usual ways of contacting us for official correspondence are detailed in the contact us section of our website.
News from the Met - The policing operation is called Operation Bentham: Gold is Ian Thomas, Silver is Julia Pendry, and there are various Bronzes, the one for the Camp is Jane Connors. The indications at this stage are, from both the liaison going on with the Met and from our understanding of the current climate post Kingsnorth and particularly the G20, that the Met will not ‘do a Kingsnorth’.
The liaison meetings to date have been constructive with the Met working consciously with ‘no surprises’– however, we are told by those who did the liaison then that they were before Kingsnorth too so there are no guarantees. So keeping that in mind… We have been told the policing will be community style as a community within a community as there is no mass action planned, provided the Camp is not in a sensitive area (like an airport or a road).
There is no plan for a ring of steel around the Camp. Music and sleep deprivation will not be used as a tactic. The policing will be reasonable if the Camp is reasonable. Any affinity group actions will be policed geographically – ie. where they happen. Searches and FIT will not be over used as a tactic but FIT will be present as the Camp forms and people arrive and for the swoop. (Remember you do not have to cooperate with being filmed and photographed.)
We have been told there will be more concern about items going off the Camp for actions than with items going on given that there may be affinity group action. Strategic reserves will be available but if possible out of sight.
There will be a mobile police station for the Camp and the Met hope to resolve complaints informally there. The perimeter will be patrolled but there will not be routine patrols in the camp.
The Met have a twitter for the Climate Camp to keep Campers up-to-date - CO11Metpolice – which you might like to follow. Key working groups like police liaison and legal obviously will follow Met tweets.
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