Sunday, November 05, 2006


There has been a considerable amount of coverage in the Media regarding the incident in which a man was shot by a member of a Met Police firearms team in Kent during an armed robbery. It has emerged that an officer connected to the incident in Stockwell last year was involved.

The first I became aware of it was when I glanced at a newspaper headline and the first few lines stated that the ' de Menezes family are 'outraged' (or similar wording) at hearing this'.

I think this was a day/two days after the incident.

The first question that came to me was 'How did this officers name come to public knowledge so quickly?'

A man has died during an incident in which firearms are involved. The fatal shot coming from a Police firearms officer. These are early days in an investigation which will have been immediately referred to the IPCC.
Certainly no Met press release would be specific as to detail at this point. In fact the Met have issued a statement saying that they only confirmed that the same officer was involved in response to 'specific media enquiries'.
So who put it out there?
I may be wrong but my money is on the 'agenda driven' hand of elements within the IPCC.

The IPCC (or in full the Independent Police Complaints Commission) took over from the former Police Complaints Authority on the 1st April 2004. The logic being that it 'changed the perception of police investigating police'. The Met wanted to be seen as being 'open and transparent'. This is, in itself, not an issue.
However it was expected that the IPCC would be 'fair and impartial'.
In the two years plus that the IPCC have been in existence I have my doubts as to how some within the organization view the 'fair and impartial' side of things.
On occasions it produces more 'leaks' than a Welsh country market.
I wonder whether the fact that the IPCC as set up on the 1st April should have given officers a clue as to where we were going with it.
I have a lot of admiration for officers who carry a gun within the Police today. It is a thankless task.In a society (where gun use by criminals is on a continual rise) they are faced with the dilemma that should they ever be placed in the situation that requires them to pull the trigger and it takes a life then they face months/years of drawn out investigation.
I hope this latest trial by media dwindles away and the actual facts of the incident are reviewed assessed and decided upon in as reasonable a time as possible.


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