Met Police to use Twitter on Climate Camp protest
Move to use social media and the appointment of senior female officers to the policing team is being seen as part of a charm offensive
The Metropolitan Police have set up a Twitter feed through which they will communicate with demonstrators at next week's Climate Camp in London. The force will tweet about issues such as 'policing of the camp', 'info from other emergency services' and 'local community info' at @CO11MetPolice in an attempt to engage protestors.
It is a clear sign that the service are looking to mend their image which was sullied by the over-the-top policing of the G20 protests in the City of London in April (above). The killing of Ian Tomlinson, an innocent bystander who was caught up in the protests and who died after being struck to the ground by a police office, and a litany of accusations against the police's actions over the two days of the summit had tarnished the capital's force.
In another sign that the Met was hoping to present a different face to the world during the environmental protest, which will take place between 27 August and 2 September at an undisclosed location in London, the team charged with policing the camp has been announced.
Bob Broadhurst, who was in command on for the April protests has been replaced by Chief Superintendant Ian Thomas. Broadhurst's removal - he will lead the Met's operation at the Notting Hill carnival instead - was welcomed by Frances Wright, a Climate Camp legal advisor, who commented on police moves in general that "we're pleased they have been forthcoming and have been making some of the right noises".
Thomas, the 'gold' commander for the operation in police parlance, has appointed a woman as his immediate deputy - Superintendent Julia Pendry will be 'silver', who will control tactics relating to the day-to-day policing of the camp. She in turn has made Chief Inspector Jane Connors her deputy. The presence of two women is such senior roles is seen as a deliberate attempt to make the operation less focused on the 'macho' policing that scarred the G20 protests. ·
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