Public Order and Riot Squad

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Public Order and Riot Squad
NSWPF PORS "X-RAY" MB VITO van - Flickr - Highway Patrol Images (1).jpg
Public Order and Riot Squad vehicle
Active 2005 - Present
Country Australia
Type Law Enforcement, Riot control
Role Law Enforcement
Size 100 full-time officers
Nickname(s) PORS
Engagements APEC Australia 2007, World Youth Day 2008, 2012 Sydney anti-Islam film protests
Chief Superintendent Steve Cullen[1]

The Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS) is the full-time 'riot squad' of the New South Wales Police Force. PORS is within the command of Field Operations under the Major Events and Incidents Group (MEIG) which is responsible for planning for major events such as Operation Vikings, APEC, the World Youth Day and New Year's Eve celebrations.[2]


The New South Wales Police Force Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS) is a full-time riot squad created in September 2005 becoming operational in January 2006[3] within the Major Events and Incidents Group Command. PORS was created as a result of Parliamentary reports into the response and handling of riots in Redfern (February 2004) and Macquarie Fields (February 2005) where command and control and resources were criticized and found to be lacking/uncoordinated.[4] PORS is essentially the re-creation of the defunct Tactical Response Group of the 1980s except for some differences in charter and organisation.[5] They are supplemented by statewide-based part-time Operations Support Group units.

In 2009 the squad was featured in an episode of 60 Minutes titled "Brute Force" showing officers in action across Sydney.[6]


PORS are issued with a wide variety of specialised crowd control and riot equipment including Taser[7] weapons and fully equipped black vans and black 4WDs[8] to allow rapid deployment across the State at a moments notice. The vans allow a team in full tactical/riot gear to deploy on the move and access equipment as needed quickly, without need to return to a station to access gear as the part-time Public Order and Operations Support Group (OSG) officers do. PORS also have a $600,000 water cannon truck which is fitted with an airtight cabin to protect police from smoke, gas and other irritants.[9] It also has shatterproof "anti-bandit glass" reinforced with wire mesh, and a heavy push bar allowing it to clear barricades and other obstacles. The high pressure 12,000 litre water cannon is able to shoot a stream of water more than 50 metres.[10][11]

Each officer is equipped with more than $8500 in gear including flameproof overalls, bulletproof vest, ballistic goggles, arm and leg guards, capsicum spray, an Asp baton, long baton, utility knife, handcuffs and cable tie flex-cuffs and also rubber bullets which are stored in station and their cars.[1]


A Public Order and Riot Squad rapid response vehicle.

The Public Order and Riot Squad, currently commanded by Chief Superintendent Steve Cullen, specialise in:

  • riot control/response;
  • search warrants;[12]
  • searches for missing persons;[13]
  • crowd control;
  • bomb search;[14]
  • disaster victim identification;[14]
  • response to major chemical biological and radiological (CBR) incidents; and
  • assisting general duties Police whenever a rapid co-ordinated response is needed at incidents such as brawls or street parties.[14]

PORS role also includes attending major public protests and demonstrations, assisting with searches for evidence, people, property and drugs and canvassing witnesses during large-scale investigations. The unit also clears cells, transfers inmates and performs other security duties during industrial disputes at the State's prisons.[14]

PORS also provide core officers for Operation Vikings. Operation Vikings was designed to provide a highly visible police presence across New South Wales. Large numbers of Police are deployed to these operations, targeting antisocial behaviour, alcohol-related crime, street level drug possession and traffic offences in known trouble (or "hot") spots.[15]

A group of Public Order & Riot Squad Officers at an A-League Pre-Season Match.

The PORS often deploy large numbers of vehicles and officers to A-League football matches held in New South Wales.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Duff, Eamonn (3 August 2008). "Robo cop: brawlers beware". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Minister for Police" (PDF). Budget Estimates 2006-07. The NSW Treasury. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Public Disturbances at Macquarie Fields" (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Archived from the original on October 9, 2006. Retrieved January 31, 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Brute Force". 60 Minutes. Nine MSN. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Australian and World News - ninemsn, Nine News". Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Bhatt, Neerav (7 January 2010). "NSW Police Public Order & Riot Squad car". Flickr. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Water cannon will be used on rioters". 20 August 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Clennell, Andrew (21 August 2007). "Wet v wild: riot squad shows off its $700,000 weapon". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Jones, Gemma (17 June 2009). "Police water cannon hasn't fired a drop in anger". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Three houses raided in drug bust". The Daily Telegraph. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Police search for missing La Perouse woman". The Daily Telegraph. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d Kidman, John (13 November 2005). "Frontline anti-terror role for riot squad". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Operation Vikings helps lower local crime rate". News. ABC. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Police warn fans to behave themselves at Wanderers v Mariners grand final". Hills News. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 

External links[edit]