Community Perspectives On Public Order Policing in Northern Ireland

John Topping, Jonny Byrne, Neil Jarman

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


In 2011 the Chief Constable of the PSNI commissioned a review of public order policing in Northern Ireland, following closely behind a review of public order policing in Britain undertaken by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) (2011). As part of the review, the PSNI decided to adopt a ‘twin-track’ approach, with an internal review of organisational practice, experiences and roles/responsibilities; and an independent external review of community experiences of public order policing across the country. The external strand to the review was publically tendered during the first half of 2012 and was awarded to a joint bid by the University of Ulster and the Institute for Conflict Research. The overall aim of the research was to inform the PSNI’s review of public order policing in the widest possible sense so that community experiences and attitudes may be considered by the PSNI as part of decisions taken about future changes in police strategy and tactics on public order issues, with full cognisance of their community impact. In regard to the specific objectives, the research was tasked with the following:

• Provide qualitative information on community experiences and attitudes to public order policing;
• Identify critical issues, dilemmas and debates resulting from public order policing as delivered by the PSNI – both in terms of communities directly and indirectly affected;
• Highlight issues for the PSNI consideration in terms of carrying out its task of maintaining public order while upholding the human rights of all; and
• Explore the above issues in respect of both the PSNI’s style and tactics, along with community attitudes and approaches.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPolice Service Of Northern Ireland
Commissioning bodyPolice Service of Northern Ireland
Number of pages100
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2013


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