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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 1, 2007: Responses to de Menezes Shooting Verdict

The Metropolitan Police have been  found guilty of violating health and safety rules in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell tube station in London in July 2005.

The Office of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner was found guilty of failing to discharge a duty under Section 3 Health Safety Act 1974 in relation to the circumstances leading up to the death of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube. The verdict has led to public calls from various quarters for Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to resign.

In sentencing, the Judge ordered a £175,000 fine with £385,000 costs. The Judge stated this was "an isolated breach brought about by extraordinary circumstances" and that the Met has a good safety record. He also stated that this was a corporate failing and that he was not naming any individuals as having failed. Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair was present in court when the verdict and sentence was delivered. When delivering the verdict the jury foreperson said that they "attach no personal culpability to (Metropolitan Police) Commander Dick".

After the verdict Home Secretary Jacqui Smith issued the following statement:

"The death of Jean Charles de Menezes was a profoundly shocking tragedy, and the de Menezes family have my deepest sympathy."

"This was a complex case, which raised a number of important issues for policing. We will consider carefully the implications of the verdict with the police service. The trial reminds us all of the extremely demanding circumstances under which the police work to protect us from further terrorist attack. The commissioner and the Metropolitan Police remain in the forefront of the fight against crime and terrorism."

"They have my full confidence, and our thanks and support in the difficult job that they do."

Commenting on the verdict Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) Chair Nick Hardwick, who oversaw the IPCC investigation, said:

"There are no winners in any of this. The outcome will not assuage the grief and anger of the Menezes family, the case has damaged the reputation of the Metropolitan Police and I know it has caused anguish for the officers involved and their families."

“I live and work in London and have never forgotten the enormous challenges faced by the MPS in July 2005 and that those challenges continue to the present day. I and my IPCC colleagues also recognise that some of the officers involved in the incident on 22 July displayed outstanding personal courage. However, the Met’s mission is to make London safer. On this one occasion, they failed."

“Our investigation was completed within 6 months and like everyone else we regret that it was not possible to conclude the legal processes more quickly. However, before we could publish our report, the proper and lawful place to set out the evidence we obtained was in open court in front of a jury."

“It is vital now that the right lessons are learnt and the public can have confidence in the measures taken by the police to combat the threat of suicide terrorism. The IPCC has already obtained support from the Coroner to publish our report before the inquest and we hope to be able to do so within days."

“The IPCC investigation was carried out under intense scrutiny and faced many challenges. There has been no serious challenge to the evidence we presented or the quality of our investigation. John Cummins, the IPCC senior investigator, and his team deserve all our thanks for the work they have done. The legal processes following the death of Jean Charles are still not complete. Decisions have still to be made by the IPCC about the outstanding disciplinary issues and an inquest is expected in the late spring of 2008."

Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) Chair Len Duvall  responded to the verdict thus:

"We must remember an innocent man died during the course of a Met police operation - this is damning enough. Our thoughts continue to be with the Menezes family and friends, together with those of the other victims."

"The events of that day highlighted operational and communication processes which proved to be inadequate when Londoners lives were put under threat of terrorist attacks. We need to remember that there were a number of simultaneous police operations during that time that were successful but the Authority is determined to minimise the possibility of such a tragic event happening again..."

"The police are not above the law but the MPA have always had reservations about whether bringing a case against the MPS for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was the most appropriate course to take. The Authority, along with the MPS, will need to look at the judgement very carefully. The case was brought against the Metropolitan Police Service, not against the Commissioner personally or any other officer. Matters relating to individuals are being dealt with by the MPA Professional Standards and Complaints committee, and hopefully will be resolved in the near future."

"The MPA fully supports the Commissioner and will continue to work with him, his management team and all MPS staff to achieve high quality policing so that everyone in London can gain and retain confidence in the Met. Policing in London is a tough business - it is the Authority's job is to deliver a fit for purpose, efficient and effective police service. We ask the police to do a difficult job on our behalf and sometimes they make mistakes. This case led to the tragic death of an innocent man. Our ultimate aim is to make sure we all learn from this tragedy."

Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) President Ken Jones also responded to the verdict:

"The death of Jean Charles de Menezes was a tragedy. ACPO shares in the regret that the Metropolitan Police Service extended to the de Menezes family. We support the MPS and the Commissioner, it is important to emphasise that the nature of the threats that we face are increasingly complex in their nature. Our priority as a police service is to ensure the safety of the public. The vast majority of operations undertaken are concluded successfully."

"In considering this judgment we should not lose sight of the heavy burden which falls on the police to weigh risks and take decisions, often under extreme pressure and in difficult circumstances, in order to carry out their work effectively. While the service does not shy away from public scrutiny, during counter-terrorism operations, situations will inevitable arise whereby legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 is a wholly inappropriate standard against which police actions should be judged. This is especially true where intelligence-led activity is involved."

"If the legal apparatus available is not sufficient or appropriate to deal with cases in such situations, then ACPO will be required to consider whether a wider debate should follow on a possible change in the law. The objective should be to ensure that the police should remain accountable to the public they serve, while empowered to protect that same public to the very best of their ability."