David Gilbertson

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Person.png David Gilbertson Companies HouseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
BornJune 1947
Member ofInstitute for Statecraft

David Edward Gilbertson QPM is a retired UK policeman who joined the Institute for Statecraft. He was listed as director of their Policing project until the group took their website down.[1] He was a director of the Active Change Foundation from 2015-2017.[2]


David Gilbertson was Deputy Assistant Commissioner at New Scotland Yard and HM Inspector of Constabulary from 1999-2001.[3]

In 2013, an article of Gilbertson's was published on the IfS website, entitled Policing in the UK – Too important to leave in the hands of Police Chiefs or Politicians. He wrote that "Police officers, the majority quite young, have been trained to believe that they are continually under threat and must be continually on their guard. The public at large, and particularly crowds, are to be viewed with fear and suspicion... Officer Safety Training actively encourages officers to be aggressive. They are told to shout at people they are dealing with to ensure compliance, to threaten them with batons in order to force them to (Quote) ‘maintain a safe distance’. Young impressionable officers are told that it is perfectly acceptable to strike a suspect with what is called a ‘palm heel strike’ (a punch to you and me) as (Quote) "a normal distraction technique used to disorientate, cause pain or make the suspect unbalanced". Such tactics are almost guaranteed to lead to misunderstandings and confrontation in a multi-cultural context, where body language and raised voices can and does have different connotations.".[4]


Gilbertson, together with several IfS colleagues, joined Campaign for the North.[5]