There is something wrong with a process of accountability that, two years on, continues to prevent the publication of the review of the events leading up to 22 July 2005. Health and Safety legislation is an inappopriate mechanism for scrutinising a counter-terrorism operation - and risks a counter-productive impact on policing. However, the trial has shed light on the serial failures that led to the tragic death of Mr De Menezes. They include failures of organisation, command and operations. The failures were systemic, falling within the clear responsibility of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. His position is now untenable, in light of these findings and the overriding need to restore public confidence. We think the jury is right to say Cressida Dick should not be blamed for this failure. Neither, should the frontline officers, because this was a serial failure of organisation, training, tactics and resourcing. Only one person can be held overall accountable for that.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Sir Ian Blair Must Go
The verdict in the de Menezes case today has many implications, not least for police operational procedures. There was no personal culpability on any of the officers in charge, or Cressida Dick, who directed the operation. However, the Judge was damning in his comments on the way the police conducted themselves. He said it was a "corporate failure, not an individual failure." As Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Ian Blair is in charge of the force as a "corporate body". The buck stops with him. He has to take ultimate responsibility for one of the most grotesque failures of modern policing in recent times. The LibDems have already called for him to resign. I agree. UPDATE: David Davis has also now called on Sir Ian Blair to go. He said...