Long Shields

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer

Just for giggles to watch on a Saturday morning. This is an English PSU, deployed to NI 2013 to support PSNI, this is on 12 July. It is on the divide between The Short Strand and The Upper??? Newtownards Road. I was part of the second vehicle.

Beyond the wall is a RC Church, we were told that if Loyalists rioters got in there, it would cause mayhem.

I was personally very surprised by how restrained PSNI tactics were. Very much hold ground and separate as opposed to offensive tactics.

Water Cannons are great but the pressure was kept very low.
I’d say the “tactics” in that incident were more to do with orders from the bronze commander on the ground that day, possibly via the silver room. I was on duty myself before, during and after that day and in that instance and several others were less than impressed with how some of the mainland PSUs performed. I hasten to add that in discussion within my unit at the time it was generally agreed this was less to do with abilities of those behind the shields and more to do with those issuing the orders from a comfy comtrol room. I personally got the impression that some of our senior commanders, while happy to have the extra bodies from mutual aid units saw them as an “unknown quantity” and were maybe reluctant to deploy them in a more offensive fashion.
 
I’d say the “tactics” in that incident were more to do with orders from the bronze commander on the ground that day, possibly via the silver room. I was on duty myself before, during and after that day and in that instance and several others were less than impressed with how some of the mainland PSUs performed. I hasten to add that in discussion within my unit at the time it was generally agreed this was less to do with abilities of those behind the shields and more to do with those issuing the orders from a comfy comtrol room. I personally got the impression that some of our senior commanders, while happy to have the extra bodies from mutual aid units saw them as an “unknown quantity” and were maybe reluctant to deploy them in a more offensive fashion.
Seems a little bit weird, that we would be deployed to a flashpoint, where we were told to expect trouble, but had our hands tied and told to basically not move.
 
Seems a little bit weird, that we would be deployed to a flashpoint, where we were told to expect trouble, but had our hands tied and told to basically not move.
One thing I’ve found (more so in recent years) is that senior managers within the police very much subscribe to quantity over quality. In regards to PO here we have L1 units (TSG) and level 2 (PSUs). Generally speaking the TSGs are seen to be more capable of dealing with PO. It’s their bread and butter after all. When deployed they tend to have a little more “leeway” and flexibility with regards their tactics. While some of our PSUs are more than capable, many are not. (Two dozen detectives who’ve not worn uniform in years thrown into blue suits is one example). Now the bosses know some units are capable. Others less so. But on paper they’ve all passed public order training so they can all be deployed. In reality what happens is that if a commander has units “known” to be half capable they’ll more likely be used with a little more offensive spirit and the commanders on the ground granted a little more flexibility.

I reiterate mate that I have no doubt many of the mainland units deployed a couple of years ago were more than capable. My unit did multi unit PO at BK with quite a few who were top notch. (One of the Yorkshire lot? Not sure if SYP? Also Northumbria just to name a couple. Although there was one seriously gash crowd... no naming names although I’ve not MET them since).
Point I’m trying to make is that in the instance above it would be my guess that as Mutual aid here was pretty much a new thing, the units were an unknown quantity so to speak. Commander possibly then limited the tactics to simply holding a line? Just my guess mate. That said, it was a shite situation to be in and reflects badly on the chain of command rather than the blokes behind the shields.
 

Just for giggles to watch on a Saturday morning. This is an English PSU, deployed to NI 2013 to support PSNI, this is on 12 July. It is on the divide between The Short Strand and The Upper??? Newtownards Road. I was part of the second vehicle.

Beyond the wall is a RC Church, we were told that if Loyalists rioters got in there, it would cause mayhem.

I was personally very surprised by how restrained PSNI tactics were. Very much hold ground and separate as opposed to offensive tactics.

Water Cannons are great but the pressure was kept very low.
My house is about 40 yards to the right of the watercannon. It's the Lower Newtonards Rd after Republicans attacked the return route of the 12th parade with bottles of piss and paint.

St Matthews chapel is just to the left with bungalows running along the length of the red fencing to the left of the watercannon.

Subsequently every year since TSG units are now deployed into St Matthews Court in behind the bungalows in the Short Strand.
 
Seems a little bit weird, that we would be deployed to a flashpoint, where we were told to expect trouble, but had our hands tied and told to basically not move.
I seen English cops on the ground at the other side of the Short Strand at the Abertbridge Rd part of the flashpoint having to be told to stop turning their backs on the Short Strand on the 12th July.. I think this was the year before your deployment.
 

2ndpreimage

Old-Salt
One thing I’ve found (more so in recent years) is that senior managers within the police very much subscribe to quantity over quality. In regards to PO here we have L1 units (TSG) and level 2 (PSUs). Generally speaking the TSGs are seen to be more capable of dealing with PO. It’s their bread and butter after all. When deployed they tend to have a little more “leeway” and flexibility with regards their tactics. While some of our PSUs are more than capable, many are not. (Two dozen detectives who’ve not worn uniform in years thrown into blue suits is one example). Now the bosses know some units are capable. Others less so. But on paper they’ve all passed public order training so they can all be deployed. In reality what happens is that if a commander has units “known” to be half capable they’ll more likely be used with a little more offensive spirit and the commanders on the ground granted a little more flexibility.

I reiterate mate that I have no doubt many of the mainland units deployed a couple of years ago were more than capable. My unit did multi unit PO at BK with quite a few who were top notch. (One of the Yorkshire lot? Not sure if SYP? Also Northumbria just to name a couple. Although there was one seriously gash crowd... no naming names although I’ve not MET them since).
Point I’m trying to make is that in the instance above it would be my guess that as Mutual aid here was pretty much a new thing, the units were an unknown quantity so to speak. Commander possibly then limited the tactics to simply holding a line? Just my guess mate. That said, it was a shite situation to be in and reflects badly on the chain of command rather than the blokes behind the shields.

I don't know much about how level 2 formate across the country but anyone who has got a level 2 kit issue and has done a course may avail themselves to keep in date which if I remember rightly is two days every year. Now there is no minimum contact time doing the actual job so being silver I can well understand taking quantity over quality especially on mutual aid. Quality is a total unknown.

I spent a few years doing something else and we had to have no break in a given type of job of more than 180 days + minimum total work in a year and attend the refresher and *pass* the practical and written assessments. That *still* led to variable results on mutual aid and for the majority of smaller forces this specialism was done pretty much all the time for some people.

With your level 1 boys and girls, I understood the TSG in the Met trained 1 week every 5. Although I'm a bit hazy now, also not my bag.
 
I seen English cops on the ground at the other side of the Short Strand at the Abertbridge Rd part of the flashpoint having to be told to stop turning their backs on the Short Strand on the 12th July.. I think this was the year before your deployment.

I believe that 2013 was the only year that large scale mainland PSUs have been deployed to NI.
 
I believe that 2013 was the only year that large scale mainland PSUs have been deployed to NI.
I wasn't in Belfast that 12th..I think I was in Ayr, Scotland.. It could've been a few days after your night on the Newtonards Rd.

It's actually embarrassing seeing them dicks chanting like they are East Belfast Spartans yet running away from a bit of water. But the first to call the paramilitaries onto the street.

It's a travesty that the PSNI never flooded the Strand that night allowing the parade to be attacked..It was the kids lodges first down the road that got hit.

I think the Chief Constable admited they got it wrong. It only added to already poor relations with the PSNI as to the feeling that the peelers went at our side when they were attacked first. Rightly or wrongly.
 

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