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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 8, 2007: IPCC Publish Stockwell One Report

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has now published the report of its investigation into the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by officers of the Metropolitan Police Service on 22 July 2005.

IPCC chair Nick Hardwick oversaw the investigation, which was completed within 6 months. He noted that he shared the frustration that it was not possible to conclude the legal processes more quickly.  He stated that he expected radical changes to the police discipline system to be included in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill which was announced on Tuesday in the Queen's Speech, and that these reforms should speed up the system significantly. Mr Hardwick acknowledged that:

"No one at the IPCC will forget the pressure the Metropolitan Police were under as they worked to find and arrest the terrorists responsible for the attacks on the London transport system. We will not allow others to forget it."

"The defining feature of the police in this country is that the law applies to them individually and as a service just as it does to every other citizen and organisation. This case is not about creating a more risk-averse police service but a more coherent and effective police response to real threats. The commentators to whom we should pay most attention are the jury of ordinary Londoners who for a whole month carefully listened to all the evidence and came to a clear verdict. Very serious mistakes were made that could and should have been avoided. But we have to take the utmost care before singling out any individual for blame.”

He noted with regard to the trial:

“It was not about the split second decisions that the firearms officers had to make when they confronted Jean Charles de Menezes in that tube train - nor indeed just about the death of Jean Charles de Menezes himself, terrible though that was. The questions the trial did address and indeed the ones the public were asking in the aftermath of the incident were these: 'If they thought he might have a bomb, why was he allowed twice to get on a bus and then on the tube?' 'If they thought he didn't have a bomb, why did they shoot him?' Nor must there be any attempt to blame Jean Charles de Menezes himself for his fate. He did nothing out of the ordinary..."

The priority for the police service now, and those responsible for the police, said Mr Hardwick was to do everything possible to ensure the mistakes made on 22 July 2005 are not repeated. In particular, he emphasised six points:

“First, much has been said about the 'Kratos' Policy or so called 'Shoot to Kill' tactics. In fact, the Kratos policy was not invoked on 22 July. The Kratos code words were not used. However, it has become clearer since we wrote our report that there is much more doubt in the police service itself about the efficacy of the Kratos policy…"

"Second, the most fundamental problem on that Friday was the implementation of the strategy set by Commander McDowall, the Gold Commander, that everyone leaving the premises was to be stopped once they were a safe distance away and questioned either for the intelligence they could provide or as a suspect. That never happened – and could not happen because the firearms teams needed to support these stops were not deployed in time to do so���"

"Third, failures of communication occurred in a number of ways: at the briefings of firearms officers; between the surveillance team and both the control room and firearms teams; the firearms and surveillance teams were not used to working together; the officers in the control room whose job it was to monitor the surveillance complained about the noise and confusion in the room; there was a lack of clarity in the command to 'stop' Jean Charles de Menezes entering the underground system; police radios did not work underground..."

"Fourth, it is essential that all the relevant agencies incorporate the experience from 22 July 2005 in their planning, exercises and training for dealing with a terrorist attack. The experience of those officers directly involved in this incident should be fed into that process."

"Fifth, other recommendations address what happened after Jean Charles de Menezes was shot. The Commissioner attempted to prevent us carrying out an investigation. In my view, much of the avoidable difficulty the Stockwell incident has caused the Metropolitan Police arose from the delay in referral. In June 2006 the regulations were changed to put beyond doubt the IPCC's powers to investigate an incident of this kind. Other concerns about the post-incident procedures still have to be resolved."

Finally, Mr Hardwick recognised the good work that was done in Lambeth following the shooting. To achieve public confidence that the recommendations the IPCC made were  being implemented, it has been necessary for the Metropolitan Police to accept that mistakes were made. He stated his view that:

"...the defence the Metropolitan Police adopted at the health and safety trial may have created some confusion in the public mind about their willingness to do this. In practice however, there is no such doubt. It is clear to me that the Metropolitan Police have accepted and have acted on our recommendations."

In conclusion, Mr Hardwick was satisfied that:

“... the death of Jean Charles de Menezes has been a catalyst for significant improvements in the way in which the police deal with the threat of suicide terrorism. Those improvements make it less likely that there will be other innocent victims of police shootings but, as the Inspectors' review makes very clear, much more likely that the police will be able to respond effectively to an actual terrorist threat. London and Londoners should be safer as a result. It should not have taken the death of an innocent man to achieve that.”