A seventeen year old who bear-hugged his friend to prevent his being restrained by police was PAVA sprayed. He was warned not to hamper police in their duty and then subjected to PAVA. I’m not hearing phrases like ‘used threatening behaviour’, ‘was abusive to police and bystanders,’ ‘out of control’ etc. To the reader it seems that this lad had a few drinks and tried to protect his friend by bear-hugging him in an attempt to prevent the police from accessing his mate.

When you’ve been around the block a few times you ask yourself how this situation would have been dealt with before the advent of PAVA? These kind of things have been going on for years – although the culprits didn’t always use such docile methods. Was it so difficult to end a protective embrace?

Is this an overreaction on the part of the police? If so  – why? Have they taken part in training sessions more geared to inner-city unrest than a ‘low crime-rate’ safe jurisdiction ? Does NLP or CP play any part in their training?…….


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