Investigation request into Metropolitan Police actions against University of London Students

Date petition submitted: 
05 March 2014
Petition presented by: 
Joanne McCartney AM,
Petition presented at: 
London Assembly Plenary

Summary of petition

“Dear Boris Johnson, please hold an official investigation into the behaviour of the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday 4th, Thursday 5th and Friday 6th December against peacefully protesting University of London students.”

Response information

Name of person responding: 
The Mayor
Response date: 
08 April 2014
“Dear Joanne I write in response to the petition you presented to the Plenary meeting on 5 March about the policing of student protests in central London on 4 and 5 December 2013. It is my understanding that the events on the 4 and 5 December were part of an ongoing dispute between The University of London Union (ULU) and the University that started in June 2013, and that the vast majority of those protests have passed off peacefully. It would appear that the nature of that protest changed on 4 and 5 December which necessitated a change in policing response. The MPS is committed to facilitation peaceful protest and to actively engaging with organisers to ensure that this happens. However, where breaches of the peace occur as they did on those two days, the police tactics will rightly change. It is my understanding that on the 4 December, police arrived to deal with a breach of the peace that occurred as security staff were trying to evict students from Senate House and which resulted in furniture being thrown at officers. On the 5 December, it is my understanding that a number of students participating in the protest were armed with homemade flares and shields. Whatever the circumstances, I police officers to behave professionally and ethically, and I know this is a view that the Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, shares. I understand that in response to complaints, a Professional Standards is investigation ongoing and I would not like to pre-empt the findings of that.”