When operating in a public order environment or even just on normal boring-as-sin aid for protestors outside Parliament, arms fairs or Embassies, there are lots of different rules, regulations and SOP's (standard operating procedures) that we have to consider. For use of force authorities we have common Law giving normal 'any person' powers to use force to prevent injury, save life and limb and for self defence. Under The Police and criminal evidence Act '84 we've got Section 117 and under the Criminal Law Act '67 Section 3, both sections give us specific authority as a constable to use as much force as is reasonable in the circumstances to effect arrest, defend others/ourselves etc.
If we have to search people we've got powers of search under Section 1 of PACE (with reasonable suspicion) Section 23 of the misuse of drugs act (for drugs, funnily enough) Section 60 of PACE (search anyone in a given area without suspicion under authority) as well as Section 44/43 of the prevention of terrorism act, again for searching anyone in a given area under authority.
In addition to these basic tools in the box there are authorities for cordons and containment, SOP's for use of different levels of expertise and deployments of reserve units or specialists like dog units or mounted branch. When we undertake public order training we go through the various authorities and SOP's, as well as when we go to officer safety training so they are well and truly drilled in. This is mainly so we can justify actions in statements and can answer questions if we ever find ourselves in the box gripping the rail, but also in case anyone (usually with a hidden camcorder) actually asks us under which authority we're operating under by restricting their liberties.
More important than all of these however, are the host of unwritten rules which exist to make the duty pass considerably easier and to make sure everyone knows where they stand. A lot of these unwritten rules are cast as that evil 'canteen culture' malarkey and are incredibly discouraged, even if accepted as the norm and somewhat essential. In a situation where you have extreme boredom for long periods of time and have 7 people in a carrier, you need some kind of ground rules otherwise you'll end up pissing some or all of the others off and it just makes an unpleasant or boring duty even worse. The chances are you'll be working with them again and that doesn't help. The other aspect to consider is that because in a public order incident you operate as part of a close team, the sooner you have good camaraderie then the more likely everyone will be to trust you if it does go pear shaped. The unwritten rules apply to everyone regardless of age, rank or gender.
A while ago I was severely bored and immobile so I wrote some of them down (mainly after one of the guys on our team pissed a few people off on aid) if you have any of your own then feel free to send them!
*If you're the carrier virgin then you buy the doughnuts or an appropriate substitute - we did, so should you, its just rude if you don't. Healthy alternatives do not count.
*The carrier virgin (or team member with least service) must bring a quantity of extra long elastic bands, easily available from the station office. Being in a field in the middle of no where is boring, these will come in handy.
*The Operator is responsible for spare airwave/radio batteries, assembling reasonably new newspapers from around the nick, ensuring there are at least 2 decent maps on board, bringing an appropriate bag of sweets for the driver, sorting out a bin bag and making sure the last team didn't leave any skanky food on the shelves. Not nice when you put a hat up there to find a week old Met-issue Tuna Wrap stuck to it.
*The jump seat (next to the side door) MUST be offered first to either the Sgt or the Inspector, then it should go out in height order.
*Despite its name, the jump seat is not for jumping out of, especially when moving, you'll hurt yourself and make the rest of the carrier look stupid.
*The BINGO seat is the one furthest back from the door, after the jump seat, this gets offered to the Inspector if they want it, before you look dumb for asking, it stands for "Bollocks, I'm Not Getting Out"
*Always volunteer to get the snacks. Upon receipt, the snacks must be dished out as quickly as possible on return to the carrier.
*You can never have too much water, even if its cold and miserable, any water hanging around is yours - reallocate it to your carrier as soon as possible then at the end of your duty always dish it out, if no one wants it then stick it in your locker.
*The Medic is not a 6 headed monster, you are allowed to talk to him/her even if they are from another nick, whilst they are on your carrier, you're one big happy world hating team.
*During operational feeding, everyone on the carrier must stop eating and eyeball the incoming group to prove that they are not as good as you.
*The carrier virgin is NOT allowed to pack the kit bags, they'll earn this right only after forgetting that their hi vis is in the pocket furthest away from the door, and at the bottom of the pile because they thought they'd never need it.
*Bring an mp3 player, preferably with speakers if you have decent music, earphones if not. You will need it.
*Prior to the Aid you'll more than likely stop off to get nibblies and papers, it's customary for each person to get a different one so chip in.
*If you really must fart, have the courtesy to fess up and laugh as loud as possible while everyone wretches, entombed in a moving metal windowless stink pit.
*Double time or not, if someone is sleeping then photos are acceptable - elastic bands flung off a baton MP5 style at high speed to the groin, are not.
*If you're on Double time and everyone else is on a reallocated rest day - or even core shift - then get the McFlurrys in, you're being paid enough.
*If you choose to bring some playing cards, make sure they're normal ones, it's not nice to get a group bollocking if someone sees the FHM deck and decides to have words in front of the whole food hall.
*We know you're excited but it must be emphasised that you are more than likely going to be walking around in your big hat/bowler and hi vis - you probably won't be getting kitted up and sticking anyone today unfortunately.
*No, you aren't going to be carrying any Halon, it's just for show.
*Despite what the person on the other side of the desk says, there is no limit to the number of biscuits you can have from the Police room at football stadiums. It is your duty as carrier virgin to return to the carrier with an excess amount of biscuits, just don't get caught walking out with a box, their head might explode.
*The rules to the game 'who'll shit first' are simple - in order of rank followed by specialism then length of service, everyone puts a quid in the kitty and picks one of the public order horses. If your horse shits first, you win the kitty. Easy.
*And finally, yes it is true, every other nick DOES has fitter people than yours.