If you see police officers during an event or procession, they’ll be performing various functions. These include preventing crime and disorder, preventing breaches of the peace and minimising serious disruption to the wider community. Police officers will talk to organisers before and during the event to achieve this.
Marches and processions
During large marches or protests, officers tend to be posted at key locations. These will often be road junctions, regulating traffic in the area and minimising serious disruption.
They may also be posted in front of prominent buildings, such as the Treasury, Westminster Cathedral or 10 Downing Street. In accordance with the Vienna Convention we have a duty to protect London’s embassies and diplomatic missions as well. In situations like this, we’ll sometimes install temporary barriers. This is either to control the flow of people passing by or to prevent vehicles from stopping.
Violence and disorder
Most events and processions take place peacefully, without any danger to the public. However, if there is violence or disorder our officers will intervene to prevent further disruption and make arrests if necessary.
If you witness violence or disruption while at an event, move to a safe distance and tell a police officer as soon as you can. For all other ways to get in touch, visit our Contact us page.
Filming at events
Sometimes our officers will film an event or procession taking place. This is to gather intelligence or evidence to help us improve how we police similar events in future.
For instance, where there's been violence or disorder we can use the video to find those responsible and make sure they don’t disrupt further events. To help build a case, we may also film general video footage to capture the mood of the crowd.