by RAY FLEMING
l LONDON'S Metropolitan Police, as well as Special Branch and MI5, are getting a lot of criticism at the moment but most of it is probably misdirected. The Met were widely blamed for failing to make arrests at last weekend's Muslim demonstrations when blood curdling banners were displayed and suicide-bomber outfits worn. The police explanation is that their primary duty was to ensure the parade did not deteriorate into a riot, which could have happened if they had gone in for heavy-handed arrests. They also pointed out that many plain-clothes and undercover officers were on duty and their observations will be followed up. In the case of Abu Hamza, the Finsbury Park Muslim cleric, who was found guilty on Tuesday of 11 of 15 charges of incitement to murder, threatening behaviour and terrorism-related activities, the police are being asked why it took them six or more years to bring him to justice when his activities were often reported in the media. Their answer is that the Crown Prosecution Service, which advises the police on whether prosecutions should be brought, considered the evidence insufficient to secure a guilty verdict. The breakthrough came when Abu Hamza's home was raided in 2004 and thousands of incriminating video and audio tapes found. Perhaps the Met should be asked why they waited for so long to uncover this evidence, but otherwise any blame seems to rest primarily with the Crown Prosecution Service. However, it rightly errs on the side of caution, believing that a high-profile case which does not win a jury's verdict is worse than a delay while waiting for the clinching evidence. Yesterday in the House of Commons Mr Blair used the Abu Hamza case to ask for Conservative support for restoration of the “glorification of terrorism” clause in the Terrorism Act when it is debate next week. Last week the House of Lords amended it and were probably right to do so. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “glorification” as: describe or represent as admirable, particularly unjustifiably or undeservedly. The problem is in “unjustifiably or undeservedly”, especially at a time that the United Nations still cannot get an agreement on a definition of terrorism despite months of debate.