Wednesday, 29 April 2009

From the Record

Leanne Wood: You will be aware of the widespread concern about the actions and tactics of the police during recent demonstrations in London around the G20 summit. There remain many unanswered questions about the death of Ian Tomlinson and other aspects of the policing operation, which are being looked at by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
However, I am sure that you will agree that we would all want to ensure that a similar situation does not arise in Wales, and although I accept that policing is not a devolved matter, peaceful protests and demonstrations are, thankfully, common in Wales. Since the Assembly has been created, thousands of people have taken part in political demonstrations outside this very building. By pursuing tactics such as kettling, there is a risk that the police will lose the trust of a significant number of our population. Do you share my concerns about the heavy-handed police action at the recent protests in London and will you make time available in the Assembly so that Members can have the opportunity to express our support for the right to protest peacefully?
Will you ask the Minister for Social Justice and Local Government to provide a statement to the Assembly, so that Members can be updated on the latest situation with regard to the 'One Wales’ commitment to the devolution of the police in particular and also the wider criminal justice services?
If policing matters were devolved to the Assembly, as Members, we would be able to have an input and a say as to how demonstrations in Wales in the future were policed.
Carwyn Jones: I will ask the Minister to update Members on the latest situation regarding the commitment, but we must understand that that is an event that occurred in London, and, even if policing was devolved in Wales, that would not affect what happened in London. I do not think that I can comment on the situation that happened during the protest, nor do I think that it would be wise for anyone in Government to do so, because an investigation is taking place at the moment, which must be allowed to run its course.

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