Print Story de Menezes: should Metropolitan Police Commissioner resign?
By anonimouse (Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 03:13:41 AM EST) police, shooting, bastards, incompetent (all tags)
Straw poll.

Just in case you've had your head in the sand (or you're a USian, but I repeat myself), I'm referring to this

I agree that the police screwed up, but I don't think that this is a Chief Constable resignation issue. If there was a sharp rise in crime statistics or a dramatic fall in arrests, then perhaps. One unfortunate incident in what appears to be a good general record doesn't make it a resigning cause.

Feel free to shoot back (or maybe not).

Apparently the CPS are looking at prosecutions. I wouldn't bother as:
a) the Health and Safety jury specifically ruled out personal responsibility, giving a "double jeopardy" defence,
b) no Middle England jury is going to convict a policeman in these circumstances, especially as the Police Federation know who the best lawyers are and use them.
c) any judge worth his salt knows theres a KCBE or Peerage in it for him if he absolves the police in a watertight manner.

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de Menezes: should Metropolitan Police Commissioner resign? | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)
I generally hate this culture by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 03:34:15 AM EST
The blood-baying idea that when something distasteful happens someone must pay.  Sure, if he's bad at his job causing - even indirectly - an increase in crime, or a worseing in police behaviour then fine, he should step down or be fired.

What I don't like, and what appears to be happening here, is that people just want someone to take responsibility.  Once they've discounted the policemen involved, it really doesn't matter who steps down.  The police commissioner, the home's just not important.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

However by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 03:51:04 AM EST
if he actively tried to squelch the investigation, he should go and possibly be prosecuted. Over here, that's called "obstruction of justice".
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
Better than here in USia by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 04:06:55 AM EST
No ever gets sacked for fucking up. Well, some lower level flunky may get the boot, but the people who actually have authority never do.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Yer doin' a heckofa job there Doggie! by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 04:13:45 AM EST
There. Now you have to resign. But you'll be financially secure.

[ Parent ]
Blair cannot fix the problems by Alan Crowe (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:30:44 AM EST
We need vigorous action to fix the systematic problems that the prosecution identified. Sir Iain Blair is not the man for the job. He is compromised by the fact that fixing things now implicitly admits that things could have been fixed before the event.

Discovering that it is all too difficult and will have to be left how it is excuses Blair in his own eyes, even if not in anybody else's view. He cannot do the job that is now required

[ Parent ]
EVERYONE is a suspected suicide bomber. by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 03:36:02 AM EST
Everyone. Break out the Kevlar.

And re: "'lack of clarity' over language used by firearms officers and their superiors to sanction the shooting" - If you didn't all talk with those stupid accents, maybe you wouldn't be killing so many innocent people.

If you didn't all talk with those stupid accents.. by TPD (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 04:11:16 AM EST
wotchyer on'er bout guv'nor???

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM
[ Parent ]
Prosecutions have already been ruled out, I think by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 03:38:26 AM EST

The IPCC asked the CPS to look at it a while ago, and the CPS said no go. The report is just restating what they had suggested.

Personally, I think he should go. Ultimately, there was a catalogue of errors in the systems and processes which lead to an innocent man being shot. In the head. Seven times.

I can't honestly blame the officers that shot de Menezes - they were working on the info they were being given. I do think Cressida Dick has a case to answer - the situation she was overseeing became confused and chaotic, indicating, to me at least, a failure in her management. And, ultimately, the man responsible for ensuring the process the police use, particularly in such a dramatic and high stakes situation, is the man at the top. They got it wrong, they screwed up big style, and they ended up killing someone.

The behaviour of the Met after that is, I believe, the subject of a separate investigation. That is also another area which I think points at Blair going - if nothing else, he wasn't getting the right information from his staff.

And it looks like he tried to stop there being an IPCC investigation at all. To turn the tables, if he had nothing to hide, he had nothing to fear...

Plus he's an authoritarian knob.

Just how policed are you guys? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 04:46:50 AM EST
Just for giggles, I looked into the numbers of the Met and it seems that NYC and London have similar officer counts - you've got a few fewer uniformed cops, but you have more special officers, a larger civilian support staff, and more part-timers. I found this interesting considering that you've got almost a million fewer residents in London then we've got in NYC.

New York has about one NYPD officer or staffer for every 216 citizens. London's got one MPS employee (counting officers and staffers) for every 160 citizens.

Add to this stuff like the "Ring of Steel," authorized free-speech zones, and whatnot, and it seems that you guys are well ahead of us head-in-sand Americans in the race to sleepwalk into a police state.

We need more staff by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 04:57:52 AM EST
As our police have more forms to fill in.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
I believe by DullTrev (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 05:49:42 AM EST

That a lot of national type groups are also housed by the Met, so the numbers are a bit skewed. It would be like including the FBI in New York's figures. Kind of.

[ Parent ]
I was only counting the territorial police. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 06:17:24 AM EST
So I'm not including nationals and, in fact, I'm kinda under-counting as I forgot to include the City of London Police. That's another 1,200. Then you've got the BTP, but we'll have to estimate how many BTP might be in London at any given time. There are about 4,400 nationwide, covering 7 different regions - with London's underground forming a single region. Let's say that the underground gets only half the staff that any other region does (I have no idea if that's true, I'm just guessing). That gives us another 310 police employees.

That gives us ratio of about one police staffer per 150 people (a city of 7.5 million and a police force of about 50,000).

[ Parent ]
Hrm by DullTrev (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 06:25:27 AM EST

Maybe we're all degenerate.

I was going to make some joke about our police having to rely on good honest policework instead of the gun-happy craziness of America, but, well...

[ Parent ]
Yes but you see by komet (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 09:00:29 AM EST
the vast majority of the Metropolitan Police don't do policing - they are there to pose for Japanese tourists.

On a more serious note, do you have stats for hours on the beat / resident? British police spend insane amounts of time filling out forms.

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.

[ Parent ]
I can only find anecdotal evidence. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 09:57:45 AM EST
One report to Parliament states that 41% of an officer's day was spent on paperwork.

The City Journal states, without much back-up, that the average cop in NYC spends a third of his time doing paperwork.

If you break it down into collective "beat-hours per day," NYC cops give the city an estimated collective 200,650 hours a day and London cops provide an estimated 216,000 hours a day. Even with the greater time spent on paperwork, the greater number of cops accounts for the nearly 10,000 extra hours of patrol time.

But, like I said, this is based on anecdotal evidence, the kind of crap you find surfing the Internet. It is fun to ponder, but it shouldn't be taken as Gospel.

I would say that the differences in coverage of the issue in London and NYC is interesting. In the London there seems to be a bit of a panic over the fact that cops are not patrolling the streets. You're concerned that you're loosing beat time to paperwork. In NYC, when a new computerized filing system was introduced (cutting an average of 30 minutes out of booking time), all the coverage was over whether or not this streamlined process might be railroading innocent people through the system.

[ Parent ]
Greater London is more spread out by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 10:18:47 AM EST
609 square miles as opposed to New York's 322 miles so you'd have to double the number of cops to get the same cop on the corner density.

Also there's more national stuff in the Met's total like Special Branch, Diplomatic Protection and Anti-Terrorism which is covered by the FBI and other federal agencies.

City Of London is the national hq for fraud prosecutions so that also takes a huge chunk out of the cops on the beat total. BTP doesn't patrol the tube, the met does but there's fair amount of surface rail in London that it does patrol.

[ Parent ]
The area thing's a good point. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 10:41:07 AM EST
But I discussed the "national" issue. My count of cops was only territorial police. Nationals housed in the same HQ weren't in my count.

Now, granted, there's a percentage of cops that are assigned to special duties that either take them entirely off the street or put them outside London. But, NYC has the same thing. We've got Mail Police and Protective Services for the local government and the UN officials and the like. We've got overseas NYPD stationed as far as Afghanistan and an Arab-speaking Intelligence unit that has more Arab speakers than the FBI. There's SWAT and Emergency Service and on-and-on.

I'll admit that I didn't go into that level of detail because, quite frankly, I have no idea where you'd get such stats and, even if you could, I don't how long it take you to gather the necessary info.

As for BTP, wikipedia says that they're responsible for the policing the London Underground. If you're on the ground and say otherwise, I'm willing to believe you - but are you sure?

[ Parent ]
You're right by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 11:03:50 AM EST
BTP does patrol the tube. The Met supports them but is not the prime agency.

[ Parent ]
The officer in question should be executed by ShadowNode (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 05:35:10 AM EST
I don't believe in capitol punishment in general, but a peace officer killing an innocent civilian is about the worst thing an individual can do.

de Menezes: should Metropolitan Police Commissioner resign? | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)