'Witness Management' training for Special Constables

At a recent refresher training course for specials in our local police force, the briefing had a new section called 'witness management' which included some information on public order policing. It seems as if our training is being altered to reflect recent events in the nearest university town. Specials aren't normally called in to support public order situations but it looks like they might be preparing to do just that if the current civil disobedience escalates.

The most interesting thing I learned that day was that if we had to hit anyone with an asp (a metal extendable baton which is more commonly used than the side-handled batons) it was best to do it as hard as possible on the first occasion, as repeated strikes "look bad on YouTube".