Khadija Patel @khadijapatel recently tweeted "Crunch this. In the month of April, there were 650 protests in Gauteng alone. 40 of them said to be 'violent'." That is 32 every working day. How can the police cope with such explosion of anger?
I think we can learn from the way the Swedes have taken research and best practices as the major learning tool to improve the way protests are policed, as I've argued in my earlier posts on this blog and in City Press. We simply cannot allow the status quo to continue.
There are good examples out there, such as this piece about the Godiac project that Carsten Alvén @123carre, a dialogue police officer from Sweden forwarded to me: "Recommendations for policing political manifestations in Europe: GODIAC – Good practice for dialogue and communication as strategic principles for policing political manifestations in Europe".
In the introduction the authors explain that "the purpose of the project was to identify and spread good practice in relation to dialogue and communication as strategic principles in managing and preventing public disorder at political manifestations in order to uphold fundamental human rights and to increase public safety at these events in general. The overall idea of the project has been to integrate operative police work, research and training within the field and to build international and institutional networks."