Disturbances (London)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 28th March 2011.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:30 pm, 28th March 2011

It is important that the police have the powers they need to deal with such violent incidents. Of course, however, a balance always needs to be struck to ensure that the powers that the police use do not inadvertently damage the civil liberties that we hold so dear in this country. It is right that the police have operational independence—that is crucial—but we need to set the right legal framework for them. My right hon. Friend is right. I thought that the way in which the police dealt with the demonstrations and the march on Saturday was a fine example of, and a tribute to, the British model of policing. We do indeed have the finest police force in the world.