THE Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police Authority have all expressed their confidence in Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, despite the finding of the inquiry into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes that the Met was guilty of 19 breaches of public safety laws. Another strong supporter of Sir Ian is the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who considers him to be “an incredibly talented officer who has modernised and driven change through the Met and has also brought down crime”. But, generally speaking, MPs, including Boris Johnson, and the press think that Sir Ian should resign to take responsibility for the events leading to Mr Menezes death
When one looks at the detail of the 19 breaches of the law on July 22, 2005, each one beginning with the words “There was a failure...” it is difficult to think that no one was to blame. The police were operating in extremely difficult and unfamiliar circumstances but this is the nature of their work. Was their training adequate? Were their lines of communication clear? Were rules of engagement observed? Etc Etc. No doubt several police officers were responsible for errors under extreme stress at different times and no one can be singled out as being primarily responsible.

In such circumstances surely the most senior officer should take responsibility for the proven failings of his organisation. Sir Ian Blair should resign.


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