While six police lay into prone grannies on the floor with long batons, the pictures can be on the net in seconds, meaning supervisors have to answer embarrassing questions.
But they may not need to fear scrutiny much longer - Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, whenever they like.
All the coppers have to do is decide that a public gathering or venue is deemed “sensitive”, and needs to be “protected from externalities” and Apple will switch off all its gear.
The police can then get on with the very difficult task of kettling protesters without having to worry about a few beating anyone to death.
Apple insists that the affected sites are mostly cinemas, theatres, concert grounds and similar locations, but it does admit that it could be used in “covert police or government operations which may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions”.