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Boiling over

Controversial tactics used by London's Metropolitan Police during demonstrations are to be reviewed following the G20 summit held in the city in April 2009. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) received seventy complaints that officers had used excessive force, and a further forty complaints concerning police tactics, including the corralling technique known as 'kettling'.

A passer-by, Ian Tomlinson, collapsed and died a few minutes after he was the victim of an alleged assault by a police officer which was captured on video. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson described some police actions caught on camera as 'clearly disturbing' and called for a thorough investigation. Over a hundred people were formally arrested and many more were detained for up to seven hours as part of the kettle operation, in which police blocked protesters in a confined area. Opponents of the tactic argue that it constitutes false imprisonment and contravenes freedom of movement, as well as making protesters angry and leading to an increased risk of violence.
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