EVENTS surrounding the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell station in 2005 came back into focus yesterday. The Independent Police Complaints Commission said that the mistakes by the four most senior officers connected to the shooting did not amount to “personal misconduct” and that therefore they should not be disciplined.

So that's alright then. The jury in the trial of the Metropolitan Police found the officers guilty of “catastrophic errors” but they won't be disciplined. Extraordinary. But not all that remarkable when one considers the view of Sir Ian Blair, the Met's Chief Commissioner, who when asked in a radio interview yesterday whether a cabinet minister in his position would have had to quit, replied, “That's because cabinet ministers can't stand negative publicity. I can just sit there, in the end, and get on with it.” In other words, Sir Ian thinks he is responsible only to himself, and can ignore all the negative publicity he has had. Amazing. Sir Ian said that he didn't even think of resigning because of the way the Met is performing: “Sickness rates are falling, recruitment from minorities is rising and public confidence in policing is rising. I was appointed to reform the service and that is what is happening.” If Sir Ian can believe that public confidence in policing is rising after the botched Stockwell shooting and his own actions at the time, he can believe anything.



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