This is Nick Hardwick, head of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) giving evidence to the Commons Home Affairs committee-
He said the severity of the G20 complaints and injuries alleged is greater – although the difference may be accounted for by the presence of “citizen journalists” with mobile phone cameras at the G20 protest. “One of the consequences of this exposure through citizen journalism is that we will all see much more clearly what it is – and sometimes it looks ugly – what we expect the police to do,” he told MPs.
He said there was a need for police to explain better so-called “distraction” techniques they are trained to use in violent confrontations, which he said was a “euphemism” for “kicking, hitting, punching”. It “looks ugly” on the television – but police are trained to use these techniques as long as the force used is reasonable and proportionate and they should not “wash their hands” of this fact.
Mr Hardwick said he made the decision to do a “rigorous, hands-on” assessment of Mr Tomlinson’s death to see if he came into contact with the police before he collapsed. The evidence initially was that there was not any contact, so at first the IPCC decided not to conduct an independent investigation.
He said the police should not have rushed out a statement under media pressure to say there had been no contact with Mr Tomlinson but he was not surprised they did as “they have done it before”. He also owned up to a “mistake” when he said there was no CCTV in the area where Mr Tomlinson collapsed.
So there you have it, no such thing as an assault it’s someone just being a bit distracting. But really does this read like a man who is independent of the police, who investigates them on our behalf? Actually better was Chief Inspector of Constabulary Denis O’Connor who had the weary sardonic air of a supervisor fed up with feckless crooked coppers trying to get away with all sorts-
He was investigating reports some officers had removed their numbers or even refused to give them when asked by members of the public “when it’s the last thing you would expect to occur, particularly in those particularly circumstances”. He said he would look into media reports officers were worried about false “career ending” accusations being made against them if they could be identified, but warned: “I have heard that rationale before. I wasn’t impressed with it then. I doubt if I will be impressed with it now.” And he said his probe would look at whether all officers should be forced to wear name badges, which are currently not compulsory.
The hiding of identifying markings is a very old tactic when they are up to no good, from eleven years ago-
A retired police inspector beaten by baton-wielding riot officers while drinking in a pub has received £10,000 in compensation from Greater Manchester police. Russell Grayson, 55, an officer with Northumbria police for 30 years, yesterday labelled his attackers “thugs in uniform” who were a disgrace to the service.
The Manchester force accepted their actions were “despicable”. But none of the masked riot officers responsible for the attack on Mr Grayson and other football fans near Piccadilly station, following a 1998 FA Cup semi-final between Newcastle United and Sheffield United, has been charged or even disciplined, because they wore no identification numbers.
So let’s not pretend this is a rare rotten apple phenomenon when it is a practiced, long standing means of criminal individuals within the police service to get away with crime.
[And to be fair I do know of -some- police who are just as exasperated with the force’s ‘inability’ to deal with dirty coppers in their ranks as we are, however the omertà, peer pressure & tribalism at play and the ususal financial pressures combined with the lack of a proper progressive union make it a non-starter.]