Yes Folks, It’s Pantomime Season Once More

Oh no it isn’t.

Oh, yes it is.

Last night saw a public meeting, chaired by the Metropolitan Police, to discuss and seek to explain the events leading up to the fatal shooting of a young black man, Jermaine Baker.

Let me be clear, I KNOW no more than anybody else, why would I? However, like others, I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the IPCC handling of events such as this.

After the shooting of Mark Duggan the IOCC quickly made a statement to the public.  It included;

“We do not know in the order the shots were fired (sic). We understand the officer was shot first before the male was shot”

That statement turned out to be inaccurate and there was rioting in the streets.

Fear not, the IPCC have learned from their mistakes in the past, they won’t do that again.

Instead they announced with indecent haste that a ‘homicide’ investigation was under way.  Before you all shout at me, I know that is standard practice, but it’s the wording that seems to have changed.  I don’t recall an emphasis on the word ‘homicide’ and all its negative connotations before.

Then last night we had, what I consider to be, the shocking sight of Cindy Butts, IPCC commissioner,  told a public meeting that the officer who shot the suspect had been arrested and interviewed under criminal caution just that very afternoon. The IPCC declined to say what the officer had been arrested for.
Butts stressed the arrest did not mean the officer would be charged.

Ms Butts told the meeting that no relevant CCTV footage had been identified. Officers were not wearing body cameras, which drew repeated criticism from the meeting and shouts of “Why?”
She told the meeting, which was attended by more than 200 people, of the events leading up to the decision to arrest the officer.

All in all it seems like a statement to the public aimed solely at getting the local population “on side”

It’s almost as if somebody within IPCC Halls decided that after mishandling the Duggan Press Release, “we won’t do that again, and who cares about the rights of the officer.  The Police won’t riot in the streets but the local populace might and we can’t have that can we?”

Elsewhere on Social Media I saw at least one Custody Officer state that in his opinion the arrest of the officer amounted to Unlawful Arrest and Detention due to the apparent lack of necessity under Code G, which states;

A lawful arrest requires two elements:

A person’s involvement or suspected involvement or attempted involvement in the commission of a criminal offence;

AND

Reasonable grounds for believing that the person’s arrest is necessary.
• both elements must be satisfied, and
• it can never be necessary to arrest a person unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect them of committing an offence.

As I said previously, I have no idea what the evidence and necessity amount to but I seriously hope that this officer has not become Collateral Damage in the IPCC’s laughable quest to demonstrate that they are ‘Independent’, a claim that few serving or retired officers believe. 

Surely they would have been better advised to say nothing at all until all the facts have been established.

The Coroner hasn’t delivered a verdict yet.

I sincerely doubt that all the evidence has yet been gathered and assessed.

Contrary to the beliefs of at least one Tweeter last night I have no problem with the the officer being investigated, but he/she is entitled to the same regard for the law as anybody else.  If there is EVIDENCE that the officer knowingly did something wrong then he/she is clearly accountable for that, but sadly, it seems that the IPCC are going to hang him/her out to dry in a feeble attempt to placate the rioting few.

I will not be surprised if officers up and down the country are wueueing up this morning to hand in their Firearms ‘Tickets’, as they can no longer rely on any form of protection when things go wrong, and they will, no firearmsoperation is ever guaranteed to go without hiccup as the reactions of third parties are never KNOWN in advance.

Cindy Butts, I give hou 0/10 for your attempt at a Press Conference last night, must try harder.

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3 Comments

  1. I recall Mr Blair making a similar faux par some years back.
    As I recall nearly all firearms officers were going to surrender their firearm authorisation and even after a swift about turn many still did.
    All firearm officers know and understand that if they have to pull the trigger then there will be a thorough investigation. If an officer acts unlawfully he/she know that they will not be shown any favour and they will face prosecution. This is how it is and rightly so.
    What is unacceptable is that any officer be used as a political pawn!
    They will be going through an extremely stressful time as it is without the feelings of betrayal thrown in. If the officer has not committed an offence he should be treated with respect and supported through this ordeal by all concerned, especially the Senior Ranks!
    The is a need for truth, honesty and openess no argument!
    If this officer has been treated unfairly and arrested unnecessarily then how can we ask or expect our officers to bear the responsibility of carrying firearms.
    They have already placed themselves at a great risk without being pegged out as sacrificial lambs!
    Let’s hope “Independent” means exactly that!
    We will all watch with great interest!

  2. The politicians are sh*tting themselves in case all their close protection teams hand in their tickets that’s the only reason behind their sudden attention. If they could pass a law to allow gun toting G4S Guards on minimum wage they would.

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