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The Poisoned Chalice

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So who is holding the Poisoned Chalice this week?

My nomination would be Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Met. He is the current holder of the post of Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations or ACSO. This is a hugely privileged post, the holder gets to know all kinds of ‘stuff’ and make decisions on that ‘stuff” A post with huge responsibilities to be fair. There have been some truly magnificent and inspirational holders of this post, notably Dave Venness, who I did know as a DCI, top guvnor. There have also been some right planks, you can look those up for yourself. I have no idea which camp Mark Rowley sits in as I know nothing about him outside of his bio.

He can’t be having an easy time of it though, wherever he pitches his tent.

A week ago we had the almost unprecedented instance of the Threat Level being raised due to a (then) unspecified threat to Police Officers’ safety.

Yesterday a bit more flesh was put on the bones following the charging of 5 individuals. The details disclosed yesterday and repeated this morning are truly shocking

5 Terror Suspects Charged – wanted to kill Police Officers

Purchase of a firearm with silencer, hostile reconnaissance of a London Police Station, photos of 2 Police Officers and 2 PCSOs, together with graphic images of an IS beheading.

The tricky bit is that many of our brave, frontline officers had to find out via Twitter or Facebook. The officers involved in this case will have had a mare of a job. Who knows how many Exhibits to log and ensure Continuity and safekeeping. I don’t suppose the interviews were much fun. In tandem with all of this would have been the decision about how much information to disclose to the troops, in what format and when.

It isn’t really acceptable that anybody should have found out through SM (how ironic), it has to have been possible to prepare a briefing and for the release of vital information to Police Officers to have been professionally managed.

So, for these reasons Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley gets my nomination for the Poisoned Chalice. Not very often I have any sympathy for an ACPO officer.

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