LONDON - Police relied too heavily on untrained and inexperienced officers to maintain control of protesters during the April G20 summit in London in which one man died, a parliamentary committee said on Monday.
The Commons Home Affairs Committee said that even though police had managed to keep disruption to a minimum in the City of London financial district, part of that was due to chance.
"This success should not distract from the failings in the operation which were also on show and we feel that an element of luck must be attributed to the success of the operation," it said.
Metropolitan Police Commander Bob Broadhurst told the committee that many of his officers only received two days training in public order policing a year - which he agreed was not enough.
"I would like to train them more but, of course, we just have not got the time or the ability to train the numbers we need," he told the committee at an evidence hearing in May.
He said his relatively young officers had little experience of the kind of large-scale disorder seen regularly in the summers of the 1980s and 1990s.
The admission was condemned by the committee's chairman, Labour MP Keith Vaz.
"Never again must untrained officers be placed in the front-line of public protest," he said.
"In many ways this was a large protest which passed off remarkably well. But it is clear that concerns about the policing of the G20 protests have damaged the public's confidence in the police, and that is a great shame."
Britain's police watchdog is investigating the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson during the demonstrations and has launched three other probes into allegations of excessive violence by officers.
Criticism of the way police dealt with protestors, particularly containing people in small areas for many hours - or "kettling" - has also led to a review of police tactics in public order situations.
The committee said many officers appeared to be inadequately briefed and that commanders on the ground should have been given authority to allow non-violent protestors to pass through police cordons.
But it said the Climate Camp protest group had also contributed to problems by not liaising effectively with police.
"It is no coincidence that those protests which lacked a clear hierarchical structure and did not fully communicate their intentions to the police beforehand were those which experienced the greatest use of force by police."