Police Liaison Officers (PLOs, sometimes known as Protest Liaison Officers) have become a feature of demonstrations and marches since the controversy over the policing of the G20 protests in 2009 and the killing of Ian Tomlinson.

A month before the scenes of brutal kettling of demonstrators in the City of London, the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report asserting that “the police and protesters need to focus on improving dialogue. The police should aim for “no surprises” policing… They should review how they foster effective dialogue with protesters”.

In the aftermath of G20 and the severe criticism of the use of force by riot officers, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) jumped on the idea of ‘dialogue policing’ in its November 2009 review, ‘Adapting to protest – nurturing the British model of policing‘.

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