Thursday, June 8

Police officers should pay compensation

The Independent Police Complaints Commison's (IPPC) report into the killing of the Brazilian electrician who was shot dead in mistake for a terrorist bomber last July will, when it is published in two weeks time, heavily criticise the the senior officer in charge if the incident (Commander Cressida Dick) as well as the 'Met' for the 'dysfunctional' way that it is run.

Crown Prosecution Service lawers who have had the IPPC report for five months have conculded, however that there is no realistic prospect of convicting those involved.

Sir Ian Blair (Plod Blair) the Met's boss is the subject of a second IPCC Inquiry into his handling and statements following the shooting. If this most arogant of Policemen is still in post by the end of the month we on this blog at least will be amazed.

An inquest into the death of Mr De Menezes will now take place. If the inquest rules that he was killed unlawfully it is propable that Police officers will be prosecuted.

Legal sources expect the 'Met' to offer the parents of Mr de Menezes £500,000 in compensation.
The full amount of the comensation should be deduted from the salaries and pensions of all the police officers involved in the operation that resulted in the killing of this young man at Stockwell Underground Station on 22 July last year.


Anonymous said...

This has got to be the most pathetic posting you have ever made Peter.
You have absolutely no idea what the officers involved are going through personally in respect of this matter and there's as much chance of them paying compensation as there is Peter Troy paying a parking ticket.
You're well out of order (and reality) on this one

Peter Troy said...

Anonymous, clearly you have not read the mass of material that is available on this sad issue.

Why should the British tax payer contribute over £500,000 in compensation for the negligence and crass incompetence of the Police officers (some subsequently lied on key detail) from the rank of Commander to Constable which resulted in the death of an entirely innocent young man. Those responsable should indeed pay.

If, as is likly an inquest returns a verdict of unlawful killing my suggestion will have popular appeal.

I recomend you read up on the vast amount of creditable material on this case (and indeed illegal parking fines) before making further unreasonable comparisons.

RK said...

The sentiment behind your post is admirable but I’m afraid you haven’t fully thought through the implications of your suggestion. To fine individual servants of the crown is populist nonsense that would have far reaching implications, especially given that your proposal to punish everyone involved would include fining officers who are guilty of no wrong doing at all. For one you would very quickly find that there would be few people willing to take the jobs in SO19 and SO13 required to protect you from terrorism.

The shooting dead of an innocent man is indeed extremely regrettable but your arbitrary draconian punishment would do irreparable damage to our police and security forces. If officers broke the law they will be punished and if they are guilty of incompetence (e.g. they broke internal rules on process) then that will also affect them directly. You should leave it at that.

Peter Troy said...

Well actually RK I have thought through the implications of my suggestion to force miscreant police officers to be held financial accountable for their actions where they are professionally negligent.

I made the dramatic suggestion in order to draw out the type of comment that you have submitted; one which ignores the growing concern of the general public.

We, the taxpayer are losing confidence in the police service who are now regrettably seen as over reactive, out of touch and arrogant.

Increasingly the British UK police service is not in actuality democratically accountable.

The group reaction of officers in the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) CO19 unit to possible disciplinary and/or criminal charges as a result of the IPCC investigation was to announce (with breath taking arrogance) that they would withdraw their specialist services in protest if their colleagues, who were involved in the events at Stockwell underground station. were disciplined or charged.

Servants of the Crown (especially armed police) are not (and must never be) above being investigated or held to account if their actions are criminal.

In civilian life serious errors of judgement by business people have long lasting financial effects. There is not an equivalent of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act for bankrupts for example. My proposal brings the consequence of failures by servants of the Crown into line with those that pay their salaries.

The killing of the young man at Stockwell by members of the MPS's CO19 unit was, as will shortly revealed, one of the most incompetent and negligent piece of policing in the UK in modern times - in short it was a national disgrace.

The tradagedy was sadly inevitable owning to the institutional failings of the MPS. The reaction by members of the public like my self is to demand punitive punishment to those truly responsible; in keeping with the £ 500,000 compensation that is to be paid by the Police to the victims family.

The whole point of raising the issue is that the matter should not be, as you propose 'RK' ''left at that''. The British public have every right to expect better of our Police; it's called accountability.

RK said...

That is not accountability. That is collective punishment.

There would be nothing wrong in principal with “…miscreant police officers … held financial accountable for their actions where they are professionally negligent.” The thing is though that this was not what you said was it? You proposed fining everyone, or to use your words “…all the police officers involved in the operation that resulted in the killing of this young man at Stockwell Underground Station on 22 July last year”

Accountability would see those guilty of an offence being punished. What you propose is to fine a large number of officers from SO19, SO13 and SO12 (and the why not go the whole hog and include the Security Service) that were “involved in the operation” regardless to their level of involvement or culpability. The “operation” to which you refer was of the course the operation to protect the public from the four failed suicide bombers of 21 July. Four bombers who 24hours earlier had fled the scenes of their failed attacks. Four bombers would were in a desperate state and could be expected to try a second attempt at any moment. I’m sure you must realise that this operation involved a huge number of officers from Special Branch and the Security Service, do you want to fine them all?

That is not accountability. That is collective punishment. Collective punishment is not only immoral but illegal under international humanitarian law.

If officers broke the law they will be punished and if they are guilty of incompetence (e.g. they broke internal rules on process) then that will also affect them directly. You should leave it at that.

Lady from Middlesex said...

Lady from Middlesex said...

Sorry Peter we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

l believe at that time we were on high alert and for what ever reason he made himself a threat to us and the question has always been what if he did have a bomb on himself and blew it up how many more people would die.

We expect too much from the police sometimes and its all our lives they are protecting at that time.

He was, sadly, in the wrong place at the wrong time

Peter Troy said...

For the avoidance of doubt RK I restate my case; my original wording was perhaps a tad general.

I am saying that those Police Officers that are found to have been responsible for the death of this entirely innocent individual should contribute towards the substantial compensation that is paid by the tax payer. I do, however, appreciate the difficulties and president that would present.

The police operation at Stockwell last July was a total cock-up, the IPCC investigation will confirm. a catalogue of concerns.

False information about the dead man was disgracefully leaked by Scotland Yard. He was not wearing a thick coat , as a spokesman announced 2 hours after the shooting; he did not jump the ticket barrier; he was not working in the UK without a permit and at no time whilst he was followed from his flat to the tube station did he act suspiciously.

The press briefings after the event from Scotland Yard, as well as Sir Ian Blair's attempts to prevent an investigation from the IPCC were contemptible as the second IPCC investigation ('Stockwell 2') will eventuaaly reveal.

The inquest will also detail unpalatable facts about the sloppy practise of police officers (SAS surveillance officers as well as SO19 officers) and indeed senior officers at Scotland Yard on that fateful day.

Additionally when the IPPC reports are published the Met will be publicly described as ''institutionally inefficient''. It saddens me to consider how seriously badly some individuals and the organisation of the Metropolitan Police acted on that fateful day.

When all the facts are revealed, it must not 'be left at that' - it needs to be the opposite. It must be the start of serious changes, starting with a new Commissioner. The terrorists win if we accept second rate sloppy policing that results in the killing of innocent members of the public.


RK said...

I’m glad you’ve retreated slightly from your initial comment and I feel there is now more common ground between us. I agree that the behaviour “after the fact” of the Met was poor and whether or not the inaccurate leaks were down to incompetence or deliberate misdirection the fact remains that procedures need to be better and the 'guilty' should be punished. There will also no doubt be strong criticism at the communication between the Intelligence Officers and the Surveillance officers. A break down that contributed to the shooting.

However I disagree that the terrorists will win if we “we accept second rate sloppy policing that results in the killing of innocent members of the public.”

I think the terrorists will win if we rip our counter terrorist structures to shreds in a fit of remorse over one incident.

I think the terrorists will win if we believe we have second rate policing and forget all the good work like Operation Crevice, the Ricin Plot of 2003 or the fact that all the 21/7 bombers were located and arrested in incredibly quick time.

I think the terrorists will win if we forget that all of these operations and many many more have prevented terrorist attacks in the UK and saved potentially hundreds of lives.

I think the terrorists will win if we direct our anger and energy at police and intelligence officers trying their best under exceptionally difficult circumstances rather than at the mindless nihilism they were trying to protect the public from.

I agree the Met needs some help to improve its performance in certain areas, notably operational communication and dealing with the media. This must be done constructively not destructively. Fining officers and sacking officials will not engender loyalty from those left behind. It would risk a protracted transitional period where the level of “service” from the Security Services was worse than it is now. At this time we cannot afford to drop our guard.

Individual officers will be punished where they have broken the law or internal operating procedures. There will be a knock on effect internally and procedures will be improved. I strongly believe that external political campaigns to reform the Met would do more damage than good.

Peter Troy said...

RK thank you very much for your contribution to the debate on this blog.

The discussion is perhaps better continued on my posting of the 27 June concering Sir Ian Blair's likely resignation (code word for sacking)following the publication of the Stockwell 2 report by the IPCC.