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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

October 2, 2008: Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair Resigns

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has resigned. The Commissioner is the head of the Metropolitan Police Service in London and its chief police officer. The Met Police Commissioner is generally viewed as the top police officer in England and Wales, although his remit extends solely to the London area and his own force.

He denied that he was resigning due to any failures by the Met Police. The Commissioner said he had lost the support of the new chair of the police authority, London mayor Boris Johnson. The Commissioner said he was:

"resigning not because of any failures by my Service and not because the pressures of the office and the many stories that surround it are too much. I am resigning in the best interests of the people of London and the Metropolitan Police Service."

During the period of Sir Ian's leadership of the Met, there was considerable controversy and concern focused on the shooting of the Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell underground station, in south London, in 2005. He had been mistaken for a terrorist.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith made the following statement after the resignation of Sir Ian Blair as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police:

"Sir Ian Blair told me this morning of his decision to tender his resignation in two months time. With regret, I have accepted his decision. Sir Ian has always had my support for the vital and difficult tasks demanded of the Met. They go well beyond the effective policing of London – a big enough job in itself – to the commissioner’s national role in policing and tackling terrorism."

"I pay tribute to Sir Ian for the massive reductions in crime the Met has achieved in London over the last few year and his continuing efforts to tackle the issues of guns, gangs and knives. His pioneering work to introduce neighbourhood policing to London has made a huge impact on the safety and confidence of Londoners."

"He has transformed the police’s capacity to prevent and deal with terrorism throughout Britain, including his leadership during terrorist outrages on London streets. 'Sir Ian can be proud of his contribution nationally and locally."

This is Sir Ian Blair's full resignation statement:

"I was appointed as the 24th Metropolitan Police Commissioner in February 2005. Since that time, it has been the proudest task of my life to lead the men and women of the Metropolitan Police. I believe that the record of the Met under my command in relation to the expansion of neighbourhood policing, reduced crime, increased detection, improved public confidence and our response to terrorism has been a worthy one."

"It is the duty of the Commissioner to lead the Met through good times and bad: to accept the burdens and pressures of office and, above all, to be a steward of the Service he commands. However, I have today offered my resignation as Commissioner to the Home Secretary, which she has reluctantly but graciously accepted."

"I am resigning not because of any failures by my Service and not because the pressures of the office and the many stories that surround it are too much. I am resigning in the best interests of the people of London and the Metropolitan Police Service. I would have wished to continue to serve Londoners until my term of office expired in February 2010. However, at a meeting yesterday, the new Mayor made clear, in a very pleasant but determined way, that he wished there to be a change of leadership at the Met. I understand that to serve effectively the Commissioner must have the confidence of both the Mayor and the Home Secretary. Without the Mayor’s backing, I do not consider that I can continue in the job. Personally I see no bar to working effectively with the new Mayor, but it is there that we differ and hence I am unable to continue."

"The Home Secretary has asked that I should stay for enough time for the process of appointing my successor to be got underway. I will therefore leave office on 1 December 2008, giving the Home Secretary and the MPA time to make plans for the appointment of my successor."

"I offer Boris Johnson and his team at City Hall and at the Police Authority the very best of fortune. I say to the people of London that I believe that, in the Metropolitan Police Service, they have a quite wonderful institution made up of extraordinary men and women, who daily risk their lives on your behalf. I say to those men and women and those staff who support them that they are part of one of the greatest police services in the world. This great institution, which I have served for 28 out of my 34 years as a police officer, will always have a central place of affection in my heart."

Sir Paul Stephenson will become acting commissioner when the current commissioner steps down on December 1st.