Nuala OLoan praises the PSNIs improving record and makes the orthodox and I believe, the correct case in saying that the Human Rights Act gives protection to the police as well as those who confront them. She quotes a senior police officer.
The [Human Rights] Act in an everyday policing context uniquely brings protection both for those state officials charged with upholding the rights of the state against deviant individuals, and for individuals who might be vulnerable to the misuse of state power.”
Its only common sense for the police not to treat every demo as a premeditated threat to public order and a challenge to their machismo. But its also a hard lesson to learn if militants go all out to provoke a forceful police reaction and continue the confrontation with synthetic outrage. How do the police know which is which?