Police minister Vernon Coaker has apologised for telling Parliament that 70 officers were injured dealing with protests at Kingsnorth power station.
His comments came after it was revealed that injuries sustained during policing at the Climate Camp in August included insect stings and heat exhaustion.
The Lib Dems said the eight other injuries included being “stung on finger by possible wasp”, “officer injured sitting in car” and “officer succumbed to sun and heat”.Kent Police confirmed that 12 officers were required to retire from duty because of their injuries.
A spokesman said: “In total, approximately 68 officers were treated for injuries or illnesses by the Kent Police tactical medicine unit and the Red Cross.
“In addition, teams of officers from other forces brought their own first aid support who would have also dealt with injuries.”
“Other than the 12 who had to retire from duty, the remaining officers with injuries or ailments did not need to do so.”
Mr Coaker said an inquiry was being carried out by the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) into the handling of the demonstration.
He added: “I was informed that 70 police officers were hurt and naturally assumed that they had been hurt in direct contact as a result of the protest.
Of course! Why on earth wouldn’t he think the only possible cause of injury must have been those smelly, horrible, violent protestors?
This, by the way, reminds me of another topical ‘assumption’:
There is no evidence of misconduct by Ms de Vries. She accepts that she made a genuine error when she included in a media release that Mr de Menezes had been challenged before being shot. The error does not amount to misconduct, but she should receive constructive management advice regarding the need for accuracy and not basing media releases on presumptions. (Stockwell Two)
Perhaps Vernon Coaker should also receive such constructive management advice.
I am sorry that I think we were too quick off the mark with the publication of one number in relation to the progress that had been made with tackling knife crime.
(Can’t do a sincere apology can she?)
The European Commission has fined Britain [i.e. the taxpayers] £74.5 million over the late payment of subsidies that pushed many farmers to the brink of financial collapse.
The penalty was imposed because the Government failed to pay farmers until over a year after they were due to receive the money in 2005.
The Rural Payments Agency was dogged by administrative and computer errors as Britain failed to meet the EU’s statutory deadline for getting subsidy cheques to farmers.
A spokesman for Defra said: “This decision relates overwhelmingly to the 2005 SPS payments that were made in the 2007 EU financial year. Successive ministers have apologised for the problems caused with the implementation of the Single Payment Scheme in 2005.”
Also, a good point by Tim Worstall:
We taxpayers get gouged to provide the support to the farmers in the first place. We taxpayers get gouged to pay the bureaucrats to administer the payments. We taxpayers get gouged to buy the new computer systems for them to play with. And when the new computer systems and the bureaucrats screw up we taxpayers get gouged again to pay the fines? …
Innocent British citizens may be drawn into foreign criminal investigations after the Government agreed to EU-wide access to its ‘Big Brother’ databases, the Conservatives have warned.
All 26 other member countries will be able to check against sensitive personal information held on driver registration, DNA and fingerprint computer systems.
Where there is a match, a suspect-could be extradited to face trial abroad or – at the least – be forced to explain their movements or provide an alibi to prove their innocence.
An example of the DNA kits used to take swabs from 4.6m members of the public, 800,000 of whom are innocent of any crime.
Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve warned: “There is a real risk that a disproportionate number of innocent British citizens will be sucked into foreign criminal investigations.”
The nightmare scenario for a British citizen is a false fingerprint-DNA or number plate match linking them to a rape, murder or other serious crime.
They could be dragged into a lengthy legal battle. The agreement is backed by the European arrest warrant, which provides speedy extradition.
Mr Grieve said people could even be arrested in Britain for something which is not a criminal offence, or be whisked away to face punishment abroad after being tried in their absence.
The Home Office said: “This initiative will bring benefits to law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting serious crime.
“It will speed up existing procedures for member states to find out whether any other state has the information it needs, often returning a hit or no hit within 50 seconds.”
Countries, of course, with different standards of evidence, investigation, trials and so on.
Lest we forget, Kent Online 6 August 2008:
Police Q&A [on reasons for large police presence]
Campers intend to harm police, as well as police dogs and horses
There are a minority of violent troublemakers at the camp.
The Home Office has now admitted that the protesters had not been responsible for any injuries. In a three-line written answer to a parliamentary question, the Home Office minister Vernon Coaker wrote to the Lib Dem justice spokesman, David Howarth, saying: “Kent police have informed the Home Office that there were no recorded injuries sustained as a result of direct contact with the protesters.”
Only four of the 12 reportable injuries involved any contact with protesters at all and all were at the lowest level of seriousness with no further action taken.
The other injuries reported included “stung on finger by possible wasp”; “officer injured sitting in car”; and “officer succumbed to sun and heat”. One officer cut his arm on a fence when climbing over it, another cut his finger while mending a car, and one “used leg to open door and next day had pain in lower back”.
A separate breakdown of the 33 patients treated by the police tactical medicine unit at the climate camp shows that three officers had succumbed to heat exhaustion, three had toothache, six were bitten by insects, and others had diarrhoea, had cut their finger or had headaches.
All three of these means [confiscations, threatening violence against trespassers, and intimidation of waverers] by which police prevented demonstrators from carrying out civil disobedience were of questionable legality, yet practical, enforceable remedies for protestors are very limited, and – at the point the protest is happening – virtually non-existent.
Why I’ve added the ID cards tag
There is another interesting interesting submission from Climate Camp - in particular something I hadn’t heard before, about how the police demanded the protestors identify themselves and, if the protestor refused, pressured them into doing so (say, by accusing them of theft if a wallet had been found), or went through all their belongings in order to find names and addresses. And of course if the protestor was foreign he was asked to give his real name and address to prove he had the right to be in the country! (Legal observers, of course, were somtimes prevented from advising the protestor as to his rights.)