Thursday, November 08, 2007

IPCC report slams Metpol chief

Pressure is mounting against the Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair after the release of the IPCC report into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. The IPCC criticized the commissioner personally for attempting to block an independent inquiry into the events of the 22nd July 2005. "The commissioner attempted to prevent us carrying an investigation. In my view much of the avoidable difficulty of the Stockwell incident has caused the Met Police arose from the delay in referral [to the IPCC]" the IPCC chairman Nick Hardwick said [BBC]. Shadow Home Secretary David Davis again called on Sir Ian to stand down especially with regards his attempt to prevent an inquiry taking place. But Labour’s Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said she stands fully behind the head of the Metropolitan Police. London’s Mayor, Ken Livingstone also stood by the commissioner but many members of the London Assembly this week passed a vote of no confidence in the police chief [BBC]. Speaking earlier this week Mr Livingstone said, “Al-Qaeda must be laughing at us while we busy ourselves pillorying the police who keep us safe”. Whilst it may be true that terrorists would capitalize on the criticism of the Metropolitan Police, many questions still need to be answered according to the IPCC. The report, which runs to 170 pages, cites a catalogue of errors and puts forward many recommendations. The IPCC particularly singled out the failure in communications between officers on the ground and those within the command structure [Sky News].
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