Private security, such as security fencing and crash barriers, could play a role in avoiding future clashes similar to the recent student protests over tuition fees, it has been claimed.

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) suggests private security firms could work alongside public organisations to tackle such problems.
Last Wednesday's protest was attended by an estimated 50,000 students, with a minority becoming violent.

Staged outside Millbank, the Conservative Party's headquarters, there were 15 injuries and 35 arrests.

According to the police, 225 officers were originally part of managing the protest; however, as student numbers increased, the police became outnumbered, with around one officer per 220 protestors.

Mick Lee, chairman of the BSIA's Police and Public Services Section, said that police forces will be under pressure to reduce costs as public sector cuts begin to take hold, but will still be striving to maintain their services to communities.

"The protests in Millbank are just one example of where the private security industry can do much to help police forces overcome this challenge, providing physical support on the ground while freeing up police officers to help limited resources stretch further in protecting local communities," Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee suggested that private security companies could work with the police to orchestrate recovery and clean-up operations in the wake of such events.

Today (Tuesday November 16th), police released images of 13 people they want to trace in relation to the protests.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800238794-ADNFCR