Something Is Rotten In The State Of Britain

Nicked from Facebook, it is definitely not mine, but the ramifications of Craig Mackey’s actions, or lack of, just rumble on and on, and the smell is not very palatable.

Like many, I made a formal complaint against the behaviour of Craig Mackey. The Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. This individual locked himself in his car as Pc Keith Palmer was stabbed to death by the animal Masood at the gates of the Palace of Westminster. Like many I have just received a reply to that complaint. It has left me slightly uncomfortable.

Apparently according to the Police Reform Act 2002, I do not have standing to make a formal complaint about this matter and therefore they are not recording my correspondence as a complaint about the Acting Commissioner.

The Act specifies who can make a complaint and in what circumstances. Section 12(1) provides that a complaint may be made by the following people:

a. A member of the public who claims the conduct took place in relation to him/her;

b. A member of the public who claims to have been adversely affected by the conduct, even though it did not take place in relation to him/her;

c. A member of the public who claims to have witnessed the conduct;

d. A person acting on behalf of someone who falls within any of the three categories above.

In my opinion my complaint was justified under b and d above.

b. I have been adversely affected by the conduct of Mr Mackey. Also

d. The complaint was lodged on behalf of Pc Keith Palmer

I am also told:

Section 12(5) further provides that:

…a person shall be taken to have witnessed conduct, if, and only if–

(a) He/she acquired their knowledge of that conduct in a manner which would make them a competent witness capable of giving admissible evidence of that conduct in criminal proceedings; or

(b) He/she has in their possession or under their control anything, which would in any such proceedings constitute admissible evidence of that conduct.

In my case I based the reason for my complaint on the evidence, given on oath, by Mr Mackey to the Westminster Inquest. I can only assume that Mr Mackey was telling the truth during these proceedings. Therefore, in my opinion section (a) above is relevant to my complaint.

The truth is, whilst making the complaint, I fully expected it to be kicked into touch. Not because it was not warranted. But because it does not suit either the hierarchy of the Metropolitan Police or the Mayor of London’s Office. Imagine if you would, that instead of Keith it had been some member of some ‘special interest’ group who was chased and murdered whilst a police officer remained locked in his car………..

But the thing that really surprised me is the inclusion of the following:

‘Well, members of the jury, it’s clear from the evidence of Sir Craig that there was, as I say, nothing that he could have done to have stopped Masood. PC Palmer was under attack practically as soon as Sir Craig saw the attacker. What Sir Craig did was sensible and proper and was intended to protect others in the car with him. None of them, as I have said, had any means of protecting themselves or of resisting an attack, and even if he had got out of the car, it is clear from the CCTV evidence that he would not have reached PC Palmer before Masood had inflicted the fatal wound. Indeed, it’s very likely that Masood would have been past the car even if Sir Craig had got out of it. It’s also clear that after Masood had been shot, Sir Craig did not flee the scene: his first instinct was to get out in New Palace Yard, as we saw on the footage when he opened the car door. However, he was told by an officer to leave, and for good reason’.

This statement is the comment made by the Coroner during his summing up at the Inquest. At the time a great many people queried why the Coroner made such an overt defence of Mackey.

It should be remembered that the purpose of an inquest is to answer four questions:

1 Identity of the deceased

2.Place of death

3.Time of death

4. How the deceased came by his/her death

Evidence must be solely for the purpose of answering these questions and no other evidence is admitted. It is not for the inquest to ascertain “how the deceased died” or “in what broad circumstances”, but “how the deceased came by his death”, a more limited question.

The Coroner’s defence of Mackey had no place in the Inquest. There was never any doubt as to who caused it. The complaint against Mackey was in relation to his behaviour, or lack of behaviour, as a police officer at the time. The complaint was very much along the lines of that made in 2015, against several police officers who failed to get out of their patrol car to assist a Tesco security guard with a violent shoplifter. A complaint which led to the justified sacking of one police officer. I can see absolutely no difference between that incident and the issue around Mr Mackey’s behaviour.

But as out of place as the comment was at the Inquest, it is it’s regular appearance in the official responses from the likes of Cressida Dick (Commissioner of Police) and the Mayors Office for Policing and Crime that worries me. It appears that this statement was a deliberately structured ‘key’ designed to aid in the release of Mackey from his predicament. Prepared and pre-empted, in my opinion, even before the end of the Inquest.

The real cancer that is killing the police service resides in the top floors of the Yard and other Police HQs around the land. Yes, there are many Chief Constables and senior officers who still hold true to the traditional values of policing. But they are growing fewer in number. Seeing how the system has rallied around to protect one of its own, many genuinely good senior officers must be tempted to avail themselves of such patronage.

There is corruption in the police. It stinks of politics…….

That is all

Context

Context is everything. It can completely change one’s understanding of an event or comment.

Many things have been said over the past few days about the (in)actions of Acting Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey during and after the terrible events on Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster.

Many commentators have called him “Coward”, indeed, initially, I had some sympathy with that argument. Having given it a great deal of thought over the past few days, and listened to the opinions of many others, I find that I have shifted my position somewhat.

The events of that awful day have been recounted many times, and I don’t need to go over them again, but certain actions, or inactions maybe do bear further scrutiny.

Sir Craig Mackey, the Acting Commissioner, was ‘out and about’ without his Personal Protective Equipment and no radio. Really? He may well not have had any PPE but no radio? Really? That must be the only car in the Met’s fleet that doesn’t have a radio hard-wired into it. I’m reasonably certain that he would have had a mobile phone with him too. He might not have been very far away from New Scotland Yard but I’m sure the Commissioner does not go out and is not contactable in case of emergency. That does not make sense.

Sir Craig Mackey was concerned for the well-being of the two other people in his car, both civilians it would seem. Maybe he was, but I’m not convinced that locking themselves in served any truly useful purpose. Why has the inquest not heard from these two persons? If Sir Craig was such a significant witness then surely one or both of them must have seen something? Why not give that evidence to the inquest?

Had Sir Craig Mackey actually got out of his car there was nothing he could have done? Possibly so, but that in itself is not a reason to stay in his car. The main reason that he should have got out of his car, in my humble opinion, is that he had just witnessed one of his officers being violently assaulted. It is entirely possible that Sir Craig was unaware that his officer was indeed mortally wounded. He should have had a First Aid Kit in his car. Human compassion for the fallen officer should have propelled him from the car to assess whether he could assist the officer, or whether he could comfort the officer.

He was told to sit in his car by a PC? No Commissioner in my experience has ever taken orders from a Constable. Had he wanted to get out of his car he could have done.

It was necessary for him to take command/control of events back at NSY? No Commissioner ever takes hands-on control of any incident or operation, they have people to do that for them.

In August 1976 the then Commissioner, Sir Robert Mark, appeared on the Front Line of the carnage following the Notting Hill Carnival. To take control? No, to show solidarity with his troops.

Cowardice? No, probably not. I have changed my opinion on that and the events outlined above probably don’t amount to cowardice. What they do add up to, again, in my humble opinion, is a monumental lack of LEADERSHIP. Sir Craig has only recently bern Knighted, what was that for? Leadership?

In a citation he is commended for reducing stop and search by 70 per cent while doubling the arrest rate and overseeing a dramatic improvement in the recruitment of officers from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Hardly for Leadership.

It could also be interpreted that he did not oppose the government’s cuts to Policing vehemently enough;

The MPS has already made £600 million in savings and faces another £400 million by 2020.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey told the Budget and Performance Committee that although the MPS is currently sufficiently resourced, further assessment would be needed should present demand continue.

That’s not Leadership in my book. He could have opposed the cuts, but in my eyes he just rolled over and accepted their inevitability, saying that the Met currently had sufficient resources. Really? I, and the people I talk to, am not seeing that.

The worst example of Leadership since the Charge of the Light Brigade. Well, maybe not exactly, but it’s up there.

#MackeyGate Rumbles On

Just a quick one today, but I’m still Apoplectic, Incandescent and any other crap descriptions I can think of.

Scotland Yard have now issued a statement on the (in)actions of ‘Sir’ Craig Mackey, Acting Commissionaire.

It reads:-

“Neither he [Mackey] nor the two civilian members of police staff he was in the car with during the time of the attack had any protective equipment with them … His initial reaction as a police officer was to get out of the vehicle. However, an operational decision was made with a police officer at the scene that the then acting commissioner should not get out and that he and the two police staff should leave New Palace Yard immediately.

“It was evident that there were officers already present with the necessary skills to neutralise the threat and to administer advanced first aid. At this stage, the full extent of the threat was still unknown.

“Mr Mackey then returned immediately to New Scotland Yard, where he carried out his responsibilities as acting commissioner; namely to lead and coordinate the strategic response across the Metropolitan police to protect London during what was an ongoing terrorist incident.”

My initial reactions to this statement are

When was any Commissioner ever needed to run any operation personally?  I don’t care what it was (and it was serious obviously) the Commissioner was not needed in person, although it would have been helpful if he had his official-issue mobile phone with him.

Swear Alert

Why the fuck could he not remain on scene and as a warm, loving human being (OK I made that bit up) have comforted a dying officer?  He was THERE For Fucks Sake.  One of his officers had just been savagely attacked and was dead or dying, with a Tory MP of all people trying to save his life.  Did Mackey go out without his First Aid Certificate and humanity as well?

For those of you who have not seen it and have suggested that maybe the Press reports were biased or exaggerated, here is a link to the official transcript of Mackey’s evidence to the Inquest.  It seems to me that Media Reports were not biased or exaggerated and, in fact, could have been worse.

I really need to take a couple of Aspirin and study the transcript armed with my trusty quill and papyrus, but I’m not quite sure how well his recollections fit with the accepted timeline of events, but then I am pretty angry at the moment so my judgement might be clouded.

 

Off to lie down in a darkened room now.

 

ADDENDUM

It has been brought to my notice that many posts and comments regarding Mackey have ‘disappeared’ from Farcebook overnight, so if you have posted or commented you may wish to check it’s still there