A balance of rights and protections in public order policing: A case study on Rotherham

GRACE, Jamie (2018). A balance of rights and protections in public order policing: A case study on Rotherham. European Journal of Current Legal Issues.

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Abstract

This article aims to discuss the difficult policing position of attempting to facilitate legitimate political protest; whilst planning to protect the public from harm arising from risk of violent protest. A kind of case study is undertaken, from this perspective, of public order policing challenges faced by South Yorkshire Police in Rotherham and elsewhere in that region, given the attention that the town and area have garnered from far-right protest groups such as the English Defence League and Britain First. Particular examination is given to the legal challenges inherent in public order policing, where the rights to lawful freedom of expressions and association for protesting groups must be balanced, in the view of the UK courts, with the rights to private and family life for members of the local community, in the face of what can sometimes boil over to become violent bigotry and racism. The situation concerning public order policing in Rotherham in the last several years is worthy of a case study-type article such as this one for several reasons. Unique political innovations in the form of an advisory panel on protests have been created by the politicised office of the police and crime commissioner, following an uncompromising approach from the Home Office to reject calls for reform of the Public Order Act 1986. Meanwhile, the targeting of the area by far-right protesters is unlikely to cease until more accountability is forthcoming over the appalling record of public bodies in failing to address child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. Lastly, case law developments that have occurred in 2017 allow us to take an opportunity to revisit the legal framework that police commanders in Rotherham must negotiate in facilitating protests in the town.

Item Type: Article
Departments: Development and Society > Law and Criminology
Depositing User: Jamie Grace
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2018 11:21
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2018 13:25
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19069

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