Police injuries in anti-cuts demo

This is interesting. A lot was made in the news about how the “anarchists” at the anti-cuts demo on 26 March 2011 caused lots of injuries to police officers. This is undeniably true, but the details are a little more complex.

The Metropolitan Police have released a full list of officer injuries and many of these are obviously pretty serious.  The Met originally said (in this press release) that 56 officers had been injured and this was duly snapped up by the media. (Although, according to this document which was released the following month, it was actually 76 officers.)

However, it is important to note two facts that the news media on the whole failed to mention.

(1) These 56 – or 76, as it now seems to be – are not confirmed injuries, they are simply cases where the officer has reported an injury. This is not to say that the figures are necessarily inaccurate but, nevertheless, this should be considered.

(2) What this document highlights is how the figures get bumped up by some incredibly minor injuries, and make the whole thing sound worse than it actually is. Again, this is not to question the serious nature of some of the injuries, but the list certainly includes a few surprising entries. These include: “No visible injury,” “Swelling to finger,” “Redness to the face,” and just: ”            “.  The figures even include one officer who simply accidentally “tripped and fell” and hurt his ankle.

View the document here:

http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/disclosure_2011/april/2011030004969.pdf

View the full online Metropolitan Police FOI disclosure log here:

http://www.met.police.uk/foi/disclosure/disclosure_log.htm

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