After the demonstration in London last Wednesday against increased tuition fees, the Metropolitan Police, including the commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, denied that horses had at any stage charged at the crowd. They admitted that police horses were involved in the operation, but they were not involved in charging the crowd.
However, after a video was posted on YouTube showing the horses charging the crowd at speed, the force has since admitted that horses did charge the crowd.
They added that the use of police horses to disperse and distance the crowd was an appropriate and proportionate tactic at that time in the given circumstances.
If, as appears to have been the case, the protesters engaged in violent behaviour, such as hurling missiles at the police, then perhaps such action can be justified. What cannot be justified, as has been the case in many recent incidents, is the fact that the police do not tell the truth.
Until, of course, they are found out. The police will never regain the trust or respect of the population until they begin telling the truth, and admitting mistakes, and until they also show some respect for the people they are supposed to be protecting.
As for those engaged in violent protest, what do they expect? Tea and biscuits?