Boris Defends the Metropolitan Police

It’s somewhat ironic that the man who ousted Sir Ian Blair should rally to the defence of the beleaguered Metropolitan Police, but London Mayor Boris Johnson:

insisted that the public backed the police’s overall conduct in providing security at the G20 demonstrations earlier this month.

He said: “I would not necessarily accept the premise that confidence in the police has been [damaged]. On the contrary while people deplore deeply what happened to Ian Tomlinson and whilst they want to see an urgent result to the IPCC investigation, I think the overwhelming majority of people in this city and this country understand the particularly difficult situation they face when being asked to provide security in a demonstration such as the G20.”

Except most people do not agree that the Met did a good job during the G20 summit. Appreciating that the scale of their task that day is one thing, acknowledging how bad a job a significant number of them made of it is another – they’re not mutually exclusive positions. I won’t bore you with the evidence yet again, but he’s trying to reframe the argument to absolve the Met of responsibility for widespread abuse on the ground, which from the scale of it could only have been with the approval of those higher up. The fightback continues – don’t buy it.


2 responses to “Boris Defends the Metropolitan Police

  1. I think the Guardian poll indicated 53% of people felt the police were heavy handed which isn’t a bad result considering the way that paper had already made it’s mind up before any investigations were even announced.

    As the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales said today..

    “There’s a great deal of frustration amongst rank-and-file officers about comments made by politicians and people who really don’t have any understanding of policing”

    “They’re putting two and two together and making five, six and seven. No-one knows what happened and there’s an investigation taking place.”

    This I suppose, sets out my position as an ‘apologist’ as you call us :o)

  2. that paper had already made it’s mind up before any investigations were even announced.

    Sorry but that’s bananas. The paper took its position based on countless records of video, photographs and eyewitness testimony. The IPCC hadn’t been prepared to act at all until forced to by the release of the first Ian Tomlinson video.

    And I’m not surprised at all by the Police Federation’s comments, but they only have themselves to blame over this. I don’t deny for a heartbeat that a great deal of good policing is done in this city and country, but the scale of the problem in the Met is far greater than Sir Paul Stephenson tried to pretend today. He used every rhetorical trick in the book to dismiss the problem as ‘just a few images’, when he has a serious problem with a large number of violent, authoritarian officers, who have been allowed to do as they please by senior managers.

    I couldn’t care less that they don’t like being called on it.

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