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Case Study of Policing Responses to Camps for Climate Action: Variations, Perplexities, and Challenges for Policing

NCJ Number
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Volume: 35 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2011 Pages: 141-165
David Baker
Date Published
May 2011
25 pages
This article examines and compares the policing of two environmental protests in the United Kingdom.
The policing of protest is complex, uncertain, and problematic. Contemporary Camps for Climate Action in the United Kingdom have produced a range of police attitudes and responses to changing protest events. The policing of these camps, conglomerations of affinity groups, challenges police capability both to accommodate such protests and to maintain security, control and order. This article analyses and contrasts the two most recent UK climate camps at Kingsnorth (2008) and Blackheath (2009). The case studies reveal how both internal and external inquiries have acted as catalysts for police attitudinal change for handling climate camp protests. Although police and protesters maintain some traditional mutual suspicion of each other and although the police organizational structure is an anathema to climate-campers, the article stresses the importance of meaningful dialogue and negotiation between police and protesters for the successful facilitation of peaceful protest, especially in relation to ongoing climate change dissent. (Published Abstract)