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In search of security: "there to keep the peace"

Film: Testimony of the violence of a police-led eviction and experience of the policing which comes from racist stereotypes defining Travellers as 'criminals'. Part of the Whose Police? collection of interviews with citizens, analysts and activists around the world exploring the question: where does security come from?

Black justice campaigns prepare for new inquiry into undercover policing

It has recently emerged that the UK police have been spying on black justice campaigns for decades. Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a new judge-led public inquiry into undercover policing. Suresh Grover examines the revelations, and explores how black justice campaigns could mobilise around the inquiry.

It's the morality, stupid!

Why do Britons want more policing, prisons and punishment? The political left need to incorporate morality into analysis and debate around crime.

Losing Pride

London's Gay Pride includes the Metropolitan Police marching in full uniform. Visibility as proud LGBTQ police officers threatens to make invisible LGBTQ people oppressed by the police. Has the notion of gay pride been co-opted, and is it now lost as part of a struggle for LGBTQ liberation?

The realities of a daily trip to the jobcentre in a wheelchair

Film: a journey to the jobcentre reveals the near-Kafkaesque experience many have of the UK government's system of 'support' for jobseekers.

Building the blacklist: police spies and trade unionists

In 2009 a UK construction industry blacklist, administered by a private company holding files on thousands of people, was busted. Evidence is now emerging of police involvement, bringing yet another layer to the scandal of police spies and state surveillance.

Outside the jobcentre: talking with jobseekers

Interviews with unemployed and underemployed people reveal the exacting impact of dealing with jobcentres and workfare programmes. The UK government's new 'Help to Work' scheme, with daily jobcentre visits, compulsory workfare and sanctions, looks set to do anything but 'help' jobseekers.

Policing academia: exporting 'expertise', importing marketisation

Manchester Metropolitan University is working with the Qatari government to train Qatari police officers. What does the export of policing 'expertise', such as within this lucrative business deal, reveal about the transformation of academia in the UK?

The new Russian power bloc

A quarter century after Mikhail Gorbachev supervised the collapse of Europe’s cold-war division, a world of new dividing lines is emerging—with Vladimir Putin playing an active part in inscribing them.

Barton Moss: policing in the absence of democracy

Violence has been a running theme within the policing of anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss. Individual officers are acting with impunity. Is this reflective of a policing strategy seeking to disrupt the protests on behalf of vested interests?

Racism: troubling truths

Fighting racism in Europe is not easy when Europe has two hands tied behind its back—debilitated by neo-liberal policies on the one hand and the securitisation of minorities on the other.

Five thoughts on abolishing the Met

Whilst seemingly necessary and incisive, recent calls to 'abolish' London's Metropolitan police do not go nearly far enough.

The violence of denial

Twenty-one years since the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in South London, the criminal justice system maintains a reflex to deny racism. This amounts to the routine denial of justice.

Britain’s strategic pause: lessons from an insecure and interventionist century

After 100 years of continuous war, can Britain learn the limits of military action to respond to shifting realities of insecurity? Continued investment in force projection and lack of commitment to genuine reflection on today's security challenges suggests it's not yet ready to let go of its militarist mindset.

White-washing the water cannon: salesmen, scientific experts and human rights abuses

Scrubbing away the white-wash of 'less lethal' riot control reveals a history littered with humanitarian disasters, weaponisation, inadequate testing, and corporate profiteering. What does a 'public consultation' on water cannon mean when this history is hidden?

Ukraine: what next?

There was a way out of the Ukraine crisis this week, through dialogue and accommodation. But the regime, backed by Russia, chose to pursue victory instead. It will be a Pyrrhic one—but the international community can shorten the agony.

Turkey: trade unionism on trial

As the Erdogan government in Turkey takes an increasingly authoritarian turn, trade unionists have been in the firing line. But a mass trial in Istanbul, little noticed by the international media, has not gone entirely the government’s way.

How was he to know? The cracking of the Ukraine regime

Ukraine’s parliament has abandoned the law to curb public protests only recently introduced and the prime minister has resigned. What lies behind these dramatic events?

Britain, Turkey and trading human rights for 'counter-terrorism'

openSecurity was inspired by a 2005 conference in Madrid on the anniversary of the Atocha station bombings, marked by consensus that 'counter-terrorism' measures had to be consistent with human rights and the rule of law. The UK was hardly represented at the event—and its performance since resembles a state whose human-rights record is ill-starred: Turkey.

Undocumented migrants: time to change the European discourse

Most undocumented migrants in Europe are not products of irregular entry and humanitarian crises such as that at Lampedusa are not unavoidable tragedies. As the EU starts work on a new programme on migration it must shift approach from control and surveillance.

Doreen Lawrence, police spies and institutional racism

Allegations of police spying on anti-racism groups shed new light on the meaning and operation of 'institutional racism'. Here, Adam Elliott-Cooper reflects on the Stephen Lawrence Campaign and the MacPherson Report.

The numbers in black and white: racism in the policing of drugs

Each year the UK police are disproportionately stopping and searching large numbers of Black and Asian people for drug possession, amounting to mass police interference in everyday life. Is an answer decriminalising drug possession?

In search of security: "My reasons were Mark Duggan and Ian Tomlinson"

Film: Experience of policing the community you have grown up in holds real challenges for an ex-Special Police Constable. Part of the Whose Police? collection of interviews with citizens, analysts and activists around the world exploring the question: where does security come from?

In search of security: "Violence upholds public order"

Film: In this interview, direct experience of London's Metropolitan Police has led to a focus on non-compliance as a fundamental response. Part of the Whose Police? collection of interviews with citizens, analysts and activists around the world exploring the question: where does security come from?

On the trail of Britain's undercover police

Recent revelations have exposed the routine embedding of undercover police officers within environmental and social justice campaigns. But piecing together the public evidence on undercover police tactics brings as many questions as answers.

Deaths in British police custody: no convicted officers since 1969

827 people have died during or following police contact since 2004. Families have struggled hard for justice, encountering multiple failures and police collusion from the IPCC. Why is police accountability failing in this most serious of issues?

Disruption policing: surveillance and the right to protest

From overt, intrusive surveillance to 'network demolition': disruption is central to the strategies of intelligence-led policing. Deployed within the policing of protest, it poses a grave threat to the exercise of dissent.

Entrepreneurial policing? International policing challenges

The export of policing is a global growth industry in which the UK plays a major role. Recent years have seen the proliferation of private security company involvement in international policing, often staffed by former UK police officers.

Fighting a prevailing Cold War mentality

Next week is the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Climbing down the nuclear ladder is an undeniably complex task, but one the world’s politicians must continue to rise to.

A hundred years of toxic humanitarianism

The history of tear gas traces a metamorphosis from chemical weapon of warfare to 'legitimate' crowd control technology. Whilst casualties are persistently blamed on 'misuse' by police and security forces, history reveals tear gas to be an inherently dangerous weapon.

Eviction Brixton: creating housing insecurity in London

The marketisation of access to housing security is central to the increasingly normative experience of housing precarity in London. Lambeth Council's eviction of long-term squatted and short-life housing co-op communities is pouring fuel onto the fire: making people homeless to clear the way for public housing stock sell-offs.

The British Trident debate: an opportunity for progress?

The nuclear weapons debate in the UK has been steadily diversifying and maturing, but thus far has remained an elite, rather than truly electoral, issue. Tomorrow's publication of the Trident Alternatives Review is significant as austerity hits and defence budgets come under scrutiny.

Mapping racist violence in Athens

In response to growing collusion between the far-right and the police in Athens, a new initiative seeks to map, on a rolling basis, violent attacks on migrants in the city.

A complicated (Cypriot) tango: civil society and donor relationships in conflict resolution

A solution to the Cyprus conflict remains elusive, particularly since national elites use it to maintain their positions of power. Only moving the peace-related segment of Cyprus’s civil society away from the periphery will make a locally-accepted peace process viable.

Terror in the wake of Woolwich

The aftermath of the Woolwich murder casts a worrying light on how Muslims are perceived and terrorism is defined in the UK. 

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