For consultation

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Protest Advice and proposed amends to APP

The College of Policing is currently consulting on the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Protest Operational Advice Document. This document will replace the ACPO guidance to policing linked to Onshore Oil and Gas operations 2015. It reflects the latest developments and lessons learnt from across the United Kingdom when policing protests. This has informed the updates to Authorised Professional Practice (APP) on Public Order policing (Section 2 – Core Principles and Legislation) which is being consulted on at the same time.

There is an element of duplication within the two documents. It is felt that the importance of the changes need to be reflected in both sources of information for police forces to ensure knowledge and understanding. There will be a further detailed review of APP in 2020.

The updated APP includes:

  • The presumption in favour of peaceful assembly
  • Incitement to hatred
  • Using freedom of expression to destroy the human rights of others
  • Scenarios in which this will most commonly arise
  • Violence, or incitement to violence
  • Hate speech and associated activity
  • Counter-protests
  • Deliberate interference with/prevention of the peaceful enjoyment of property.

The NPCC Operational Advice includes:

  • Striking the balance
  • Working with Stakeholders
  • Vulnerability
  • Protective Security
  • APP updates as highlighted above and which are further expanded upon.

The document has been developed by representatives including Police Practitioners, NPCC Leads and Legal advisors including George Thomas QC, barrister, Serjeants’ Inn Chambers.

We would like to use the consultation to:

  • Ensure the content of the suggested NPCC Operational Advice and APP is appropriate and useful to practitioners
  • Invite feedback from the wide range of individuals and organisations who have an interest in such matters relating to protest
  • Draw on the knowledge, skills and experience of others to enrich the product and ensure that we identify good practice based on the best available evidence.

We have identified a number of specific questions which we think will help us to achieve this and would also welcome comments on any individual section of the document.

The consultation is open from 1st August to 27th September 2019.

Please read both draft documents  and submit your comments during the timeframe mentioned above using the feedback template, returning it by email to

The College of Policing may not be able to respond to individual feedback, however all submissions will be documented and considered in the development of the final product.

Page last accessed 24 August 2019