Sir Ken Jones, the head of ACPO has hit back against the chair of the IPCC, who said the numerous complaints he had received about Met police brutality had raised ‘serious concerns’:
Sir Ken Jones described the approach to tacking demonstrations as “proportionate” despite a series of videos which have provoked anger at officers’ actions.
Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Sir Ken said: “Mr Hardwick is entitled of course to his own opinions but I think we need to do our research and realise just how well this activity is done in our country.
“I can’t find any other country that doesn’t use water cannon, CS gas, rubber bullets. Our approach is proportionate and, in fact, has delivered on many other occasions.
“But on the question of a review, yes, Acpo has has welcomed that, but I think we need to do it with some objectivity and have a broader perspective than I have seen in the last few days. We need to make sure that we don’t condemn the many for a problem created by the few.”
Sir Ken denied that he was trying to excuse the activities of individual officers, some of whom were alleged to have hidden their identity numbers.
“I’m not making an excuse. What I am saying is that the world is changing,” he said. “The way that some people come to these protests now, particularly in Europe, and offer violence to people, to property, to other legitimate protesters, and, yes, they came to attack the police, this has become an increasingly difficult job for us to pull off.
How ‘well done’ eh? So because we don’t use water cannon, CS gas or rubber bullets, that makes the Met’s behaviour ‘proportionate’? Nicely played. Of course that’s spin, it’s complete garbage, but at the same time it’s clearly going to be the police’s tactic in trying to get past this crisis. It’s a continuation of Tony Blair’s big lie from 9/11, that ‘because the world has changed, our approach needs to be harder, stronger and different’. Yet the world has not changed, people’s motivations are unchanged, and in comparison with say the 1970s there’s very little protest at all – SOCPA legislation, trades union legislation and anti-terror measures have pretty much put paid to that without a baton being lifted! To suggest it’s increasingly difficult for the police to manage protest and dissent is completely ridiculous. David Hughes adds:
There was nothing proportionate about Ian Tomlinson being roughly pushed to the ground minutes before he collapsed and died. There was even less proportionality in the ugly spectacle of Nicola Fisher being given a back-handed slap across the face by a police officer who’d taken the trouble to conceal his number before he took out his baton and hit her with it. Other examples of heavy-handed (literally) police action are emerging by the day.
No one doubts that the police were subjected to immense provocation. I wouldn’t like to stand in a thin blue line and face a mass of protesters, some of them hell-bent on violence. While they are trained to respond in a measured way, it is blindingly obvious not all of them do and we would have a more sensible debate if people like Sir Ken recognised the fact.
And back to Sir Ken:
“And I think we just need to look at this in the round. I saw some of the footage last week of whole groups of officers being hemmed in. Nobody wants to talk about that now. Those officers behaved really well, they acted with restraint.”
Oh please, he doesn’t even appreciate the irony of his own words! What about the hundreds of protesters and members of the public who weren’t given any choice about being hemmed in by police for hours, without even the liberty to go to the toilet? His stance may be disgusting, but remember, as 45govt in the Telegraph article reminds us:
ACPO* is NOT, as most people believe, part of the Police of the UK, but a private for-profit advisory body staffed by serving and retired plods out to fill their pockets with lucrative govt contracts. A good example would be sending a huge bill for advising that the police brutality at the G20 was entirely proportionate, and we should thank our stars we weren’t all shot in the head. “That will be £200,000 please Minister – ta very much.”
*“The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)
is an independent, professionally led strategic body. In the public interest and, in equal and active partnership with Government and the Association of Police Authorities, ACPO leads and coordinates the direction and development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In times of national need ACPO – on behalf of all chief officers – coordinates the strategic policing response.”
It’s a case of corporate policing defending corporate policing. Insidious to say the least. We are in a mess.