Maintaining Public Order from a Military Police Perspective

Officer Michiel Rovers and Dr. Tom van Ham describe public order management from a Dutch military police perspective. They briefly reflect on collective violence theory and the role of the Royal Marechaussee (gendarmerie type military police of the Dutch Armed Forces) in maintaining public order in a civil environment. They discuss the units’ characteristics, their deployment, and challenges. The authors highlight the policies developed to handle public order events. Furthermore, they identify military units’ challenges in establishing public order in a hostile, post-conflict environment and underline the necessity of international cooperation – not only between military units, but between all units deployed at public order events. Using the Dutch experience, the authors seek to inspire further discussion and to encourage the use of common language to describe crowd-related dynamics.

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