Public order

Authorised Professional Practice

This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

Public order

Crowd management is the focus of policing large-scale national and regional events, and routine local community events. It includes the policing of planned and spontaneous public events (such as protest and football) and the policing of any events or trigger incidents which result in, or may result in, public disorder.

Public order authorised professional practice (APP) is aimed at those involved in planning and commanding operations. It provides a framework for managing operations and deploying resources at a national, regional or local level.

The content should be considered in conjunction with other APP, for example, on Operations and on Decision making. This APP is also linked to the National Police Public Order Training Curriculum, the Event Policing National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) Operational Advice and Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP) Joint Doctrine.

The content is not exhaustive or restrictive and does not preclude the innovative use of strategies and tactics which are lawful, comply with human rights and have been adequately risk assessed. Similarly, it does not provide guidance for event organisation or management.

Please note that this APP applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Content relating to Police Scotland is currently being reviewed.

For further information, the Knowledge Hub Specialist Public Order Community is a forum for all aspects of public order and public safety policing, relevant to all officers from PSU level 3 up to gold command.

Legislation update

Section 57 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 amends the Public Order Act 1986 ss 5(1) and 6(4) to remove the word ‘insulting’. The amendment came into force on 1 February 2014. Guidance on the Amendment to Sections 5(1) and 6(4) of the Public Order Act 1986 outlines relevant legal and operational implications.

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