UK Liberty

Metropolitan Police Authority Stockwell Scrutiny published

Posted in de Menezes by ukliberty on July 24, 2008

Missed this, published a few days ago.

As far as I can see, there is no information on how the firearms officers arrived at the honest belief that lethal force was reasonable.

Some highlights:

3) Following two investigations by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and a criminal trial under health and safety legislation, much of what happened in the hours before the death of Mr de Menezes is in the public domain. The IPCC investigations made a number of recommendations to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and those have formed the backdrop to this review.

4) However, there are still a number of unanswered questions, the response to which will only become public when the Coroner’s Inquest into the death starts in September 2008. Whilst recognising that due process needs to be followed, it cannot be right that three years later, there is still no definitive account of what happened on 22 July 2005. This delay is not in anyone’s interest; not the family and friends of Mr de Menezes, not the individual officers involved in the incident, and not Londoners at large. The delay inherent in the current system impacts negatively on the interests of Londoners – in terms of public reassurance and in confidence in policing.

Our scrutiny has demonstrated that the MPS has made substantial progress in implementing the IPCC recommendations and making other changes by way of learning lessons. …

However, the programme of implementation and change is by no means complete in the MPS or nationally. And of course, the Coroner’s Inquest may identify other issues that require action. There is much still to do to ensure that new policies and practices become embedded across the MPS.

The practices used to produce police notes following an operation, in particular a firearms incident, attracted considerable criticism in the IPCC investigation. There has been no suggestion of any improper behaviour by the officers involved in this particular case, and we recognise that police officers do not take this responsibility lightly. But the practice of conferring with colleagues whilst preparing notes is clearly open to misinterpretation and suspicion.

The strategy was also criticised for its failure to consider or assess the risks to the public or to any unidentified subject (such as Mr de Menezes [but he was identified, as Osman!]) through delivering the strategy. Furthermore, the strategy did not consider what alternative tactics could be deployed should CO19 not be in place to intercept one or both of the suspects thought to be at Scotia Road, or what contingency would be needed should one or both suspects board public transport. The strategy contained no contingency plans for containing the premises/residents in the absence of CO19 officers even though the strategy recognised that this was a potential risk and the SO12 surveillance officers were authorised to use their firearms.

There were conflicting accounts of what took place in Stockwell underground station. The descriptions provided by police officers in the immediate aftermath and those in the statements written 36 hours later were different. This includes whether the armed officers actually identified themselves when they were in the railway carriage with Mr de Menezes. The investigation raised concerns about allowing the police officers to prepare their statements together (it should be noted this is standard practice nationally). They also found that one of the surveillance logs had been altered. In the IPCC’s view, this could not have happened if the investigation had been referred to them immediately by the Commissioner, instead of three days later.

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2 Responses

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  1. IAN CAMERON said, on October 20, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Last week I decided to enquire of the IPCC (in writing) if they had ascertained details of the sequence of events connected with the closure of Brixton Station on morning of 22 July 2005 – how long the station had closed for etc., etc., – important because of the ultra suspicious construction which the police put upon (and are still stressing) re Menezes re-joining the number 2 bus onwards to Stockwell. They replied that they did not investigate this aspect – which is astonishing. I live at Stockwell and Kate Hoey also expressed the view to me that news of this omission on the part of the IPCC is really surprising.

  2. ukliberty said, on October 20, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Thanks Ian.

    What’s interesting in relation to that is that the police claim they had no idea the station was closed.


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