Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Sunday, 30 August 2009 09:32 UK

'More than 30' police hurt at G20

G20 protests in London on 1 April 2009
There were sporadic clashes during the two-day G20 meeting

More than 30 police officers were injured in clashes or accidents during protests at the G20 summit in London, new figures show.

The injuries ranged from being hit by flying debris, attacked by protesters or crushed in crowds to dog bites and being scalded while making a hot drink.

Officers from four forces were involved in the two-day operation in April.

Inquiries have been held amid claims of brutality but police chiefs have said their tactics were "proportionate".

Last month Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said the Metropolitan Police's planning for the G20 protests was inadequate, although it had responded well to some challenges.

One man - newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson - died after allegedly being pushed over by an officer following the protests. Prosecutors are examining the case.

Investigators are still looking at other formal complaints about police actions and this month the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) criticised police for refusing to let a woman, who had told them she was bleeding, leave a cordon.

Fractured hand

Details of the police injuries suffered were obtained through a series of freedom of information requests from the Press Association.

At least 34 injuries were reported by the Metropolitan, City of London Police and British Transport Police forces. Kent Police are still considering the request.

The injuries show the level of violence that was shown towards police during the protest
Paul Deller, Metropolitan Police Federation

An officer from the Met - which had 18 injuries overall - suffered one of the most serious when he was hit by a piece of wood as demonstrators stormed a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

He took painkillers and returned to duty the next day but later discovered his hand had been fractured.

Protestors had gathered at various locations in London, where world leaders were meeting, and there were sporadic clashes with police.

The majority of injured officers were hurt by missiles including bottles, beer cans, traffic cones and a metal ladder. Others said they were assaulted as they wrestled with surging crowds.

One Met officer passed out when she was crushed as police forcibly cleared the Bishopsgate climate camp.

Bank clashes

The figures contain all reported injuries during what police called Operation Glencoe - the security operation around the political meeting.

They therefore include a Met officer who scalded his hand while making a hot drink at the Excel Centre in London's Docklands.

A City of London officer reported suffering neck pain after wearing a heavy protective helmet for a long period.

Of the Met's 18 injuries seven reported being hit by flying objects, six said they were physically assaulted, two were hurt in accidents, two were hurt while holding on to other officers in police lines and one injured after slipping on a metal barrier.

Members of police forward intelligence teams - who carry camera and video equipment - reported being bruised by kicks from protesters.

Four British Transport Police officers were hurt during confrontations outside the Bank of England.

Twelve City of London Police officers were injured, the majority suffering bruising to the legs and arms during clashes. One was attacked while trying to arrest a suspect and another was bitten by a dog.

'Complex and dangerous'

Paul Deller, of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: "The injuries show the level of violence that was shown towards police during the protest.

"The federation welcomes the public debate on public order tactics but at the same time we need as much equipment and resources as possible to stop our officers getting injured."

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said frontline policing was "often an extremely complex and dangerous job", especially when they had to deal with "extremist or militant factions" within demonstrations.

"It is all too easy to forget that police officers are expected to run towards the dangers most of us run from," he said.



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