Commissioner of the Met should resign?

Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
edited March 14 in Epiphanies
There have been calls for her resignation following reports of heavy-handed policing of the vigil yesterday for the murdered woman Sarah Everard.
Mrs Vole thinks she should not resign because a) the women were warned the gathering would be illegal because of Covid restrictions
and b) because no-one resigns these days, particularly lying politicians
(and possibly c: because Dame Cressida Dick is a woman)

But I think policing in this country is often too violent at protests and could be done in a much more intelligent and subtle way. And the way of policing protest gatherings is a policy decision -for which the buck stops at the top. Dame Cressida should admit that the policing yesterday was unacceptable, and resign.
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Comments

  • It's certainly interesting to contrast the met's response with that of Police Scotland to the bonehead Rangers fans last weekend.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited March 14
    Quite.

    The utter tone-deafness of heavy handed policing by the organisation that employs the alleged perpetrator of the event leading to the protest, and that allegedly failed to act on previous concerning allegations concerning this one of their number, compared with the hands off approach in other cases, is itself evidence of rank incompetence.
  • It's certainly interesting to contrast the met's response with that of Police Scotland to the bonehead Rangers fans last weekend.
    The differences between the two events are substantial. The Rangers fans gathered, fuelled by alcohol, without any regard to social distancing in a boisterous celebration. The vigil was calm, with face masks worn and the women there spaced out to maintain some social distancing. We saw in the summer during the BLM protests that this sort of mass protest, out doors with masks and some social distance present a low risk re coronavirus.

    The response of the Met was totally out of proportion to the risks of coronavirus the vigil presented, and resulted in a significant increase in the risks of coronavirus transmission. Yes, the vigil broke the laws for reducing the spread of the virus, but until we see dozens of police swoop on the home of Dominic Cummings for breaking the law last year the police need to justify why they choose to violently break up some peaceful protests but not act against other people breaking the same laws.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited March 14
    It was unbelievable. What did the police think they were achieving? Those images underlined the problem in bold - men being violent against women.

    I don’t think a new commissioner would make the slightest difference. The whole culture of the force needs to change.

    They have learned nothing.


    Jess Phillips is speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show now.

    “The police have got it wrong at every single turn,” she said. Not just the final image that we see, but all day yesterday and the day before, the police did not try and find a way for a peaceful protest - not a protest, actually - a vigil, a moment.

    They did not try to find a way to work with women who are sad and angry and upset to be able to, not even gather but just go to Clapham Common.

    There are a million ways that that could have been organised but the police put their foot down before they put their boot in and at every stage they made the wrong call.”

    Dominic Cummings got an hour in the rose garden at number 10 on prime time TV to ‘justify’ breaking the same laws. 🙄😡😖
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Some of the police were taking the flowers from vigil keepers and placing them reverently on the rest, which I thught good. I saw, on the video, in the region of six officers handling women, two of whom were women themselves, pushing aggressively at a woman, and leaving her after she went off from the bandstand. A group of about four, not possible to tell if male or female, had another woman on the ground, cuffed her, allowed her up, and removed her from the area. Another woman was also cuffed and taken away. The rest of the police shown in the video were just standing in a line in front of the women (and associated men) - it was from that group that the flower placers came - or arriving to join the line.
    It was a remarkably cack-handed way of showing the shock they were supposed to have felt on learning it was one of their own who killed a woman. (And they probably know more about what was done to her than has been revealed to the public.) Even if they felt the chant of "Shame on you" was unfair.
  • And kept us all waiting for hours before he even got there!
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited March 14
    @Baptist Trainfan - I assume you mean the egregious Lord Cummings of the Rose Garden...?

    What we saw last night was a disgrace - almost worthy of some heavy bully like Lukashenko of Belarus.

    Dame Cressida should resign.

    (BTW - I haven't heard of Priti Patel supporting *her officers*, as she did when two women were arrested in Derbyshire for drinking coffee near a reservoir. Maybe even PP thinks the Met went too far).

  • Ms Patel has asked for a report from the police, and now she's in the position of being able to say she won't comment until she's got that report. By that point she'll have a good feel for public reaction, and will know what to say to keep the Daily Mail readers happy.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited March 14
    Ms Patel has asked for a report from the police, and now she's in the position of being able to say she won't comment until she's got that report. By that point she'll have a good feel for public reaction, and will know what to say to keep the Daily Mail readers happy.

    Yes, I saw that she'd asked for a *report*. Playing it cautiously, isn't she? I'm sure you're right about appeasing the fascist press...

    If she had any sense of honour or integrity, she'd have resigned already (over other issues).

    BTW - today's online Guardian has a photo which should shame Dick and Patel into falling on their swords...
    https://theguardian.com/uk-news
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    "The Met" meaning the Metropolitan Police, and the event being a vigil held in South London?

    Sorry -- to us cross-ponders The Met is either the Metropolitan Opera House or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Quite.

    The utter tone-deafness of heavy handed policing by the organisation that employs the alleged perpetrator of the event leading to the protest, and that allegedly failed to act on previous concerning allegations concerning this one of their number, compared with the hands off approach in other cases, is itself evidence of rank incompetence.

    Well, that depends entirely on what you believe the purpose of the system is. Burying the conclusions of things like Countryman and Tiberius were features, not bugs.
  • "The Met" meaning the Metropolitan Police, and the event being a vigil held in South London?

    Sorry -- to us cross-ponders The Met is either the Metropolitan Opera House or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York.

    Yes indeed - your guess is correct.

    Sorry about the colloquialism - it's a commonly-used one here, but I take the point that it means different things in different countries!
  • The police isn't there to protect us. It's there to police us. Any 'protection' we might feel is illusory. If this is finally getting through to nice middle class white people, then good, but this kind of thing has been happening from before Peterloo,
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Purgatory Host
    Perhaps more importantly, the government are trying to get a bill through parliament tomorrow that will further restrict the right to protest - if nothing else comes of this I hope it will give some in Parliament the spine to resist that particular power grab.
  • Perhaps more importantly, the government are trying to get a bill through parliament tomorrow that will further restrict the right to protest - if nothing else comes of this I hope it will give some in Parliament the spine to resist that particular power grab.

    Labour were whipping to abstain but it looks like this may have caused them to change tack.
  • Time for the Opposition to do a bit of opposing, I think...
  • Perhaps more importantly, the government are trying to get a bill through parliament tomorrow that will further restrict the right to protest - if nothing else comes of this I hope it will give some in Parliament the spine to resist that particular power grab.
    And, these aren't restrictions on peaceful protest that relate to the current coronavirus emergency. There could, just about, be some justification for ensuring peaceful protests are covered by the same laws as other public gatherings during the pandemic (given that the High Court ruled that a vigil last night would be lawful, clarification on that point by Parliament would be needed if the government wished to make sure such events didn't happen on public health grounds). But, taking away the right to peaceful protest even after the easing of pandemic restrictions is a major attack on democratic processes.
  • ExclamationMarkExclamationMark Shipmate
    edited March 14
    Why do the Police never understand that people no longer see them as nice Dixon of Dock Green types?

    First their quoted surprise that "one of their own was arrested" Do they have no idea of human nature? That's a very damaging view IMHO as it implies they are never wrong.

    Secondly - and accepting that the protest wasn't approved - the response was disproportionate and heavy handed. It's Peterloo over again.

    Thirdly, Dick should never even be in charge after her culpability in the shooting of Jean Mendes. Some mistakes can be overlooked, others are job ending deals. Shouldn't we be revisiting that on a miscarriage of justice tab?

    Now that PP is distancing herself I'd love to see the Home Office guidance given to the Met.

    The bigger issue is the upcoming legislation on peaceful protests. Time we got on the street friends, they can't arrest us all.

  • If people can go to sports fixtures they can make a statement in this way.

    The Police's reaction makes me very angry!
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Bishops Finger If she had any sense of honour or integrity, she'd have resigned already (over other issues).

    Agreed. Her unwillingness to acknowledge systemic racism in the met should already have been enough. It would be ironic, though, for her to be ousted for upholding the law! Perhaps there were too many members of the middle class participating to justify the affront of police intervention- the cops really should know their place.

    In her defence, however, it should be said that the met has ever been a Behemoth outside the control of its nominal leadership, which is too frightened to challenge the power of its NCO's in the lower ranks. If Cressida Dick resigns so should her successor within a week of appointment, and so on and so on ad infinitum.
  • The bigger issue is the upcoming legislation on peaceful protests. Time we got on the street friends, they can't arrest us all.

    This. In the future, if there's anything you might ever feel strongly enough about that you'd consider protesting about - well, tough. You can't.
  • Though the Metropolitan Police were not upholding the law, if anything they were hindering it. The High Court had declared that a socially distanced, peaceful vigil would be legal - the Met refused to discuss with the Reclaim The Streets organisers to work out how to hold the vigil in a socially distanced manner, with eventually RTS deciding that as they hadn't been able to organise things properly due to Met intransigence they'd have to call off the event. So, yes as it happened the vigil wasn't an officially organised event, and thus illegal under the pandemic restrictions. But, that was only because the Met failed to do anything to facilitate an event that would have been legal.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    “The police have got it wrong at every single turn,” she said. Not just the final image that we see, but all day yesterday and the day before, the police did not try and find a way for a peaceful protest - not a protest, actually - a vigil, a moment.

    They did not try to find a way to work with women who are sad and angry and upset to be able to, not even gather but just go to Clapham Common.

    Not denying that the overall result was shite, but what scope did the Met have to do any of those things? Ultimately, Covid laws do pretty much kill off the right to protest, and framing it as a 'vigil' doesn't help because there are limits on attendance at funerals too. IOW, it's a bit like asking the police how you can open a playgroup in a legal and Covid-safe way: the only possible answer is 'You can't'.
  • How to be covid safe: meet in the open air in a large space like Clapham Common, wear masks, maintain distance between people and no physical contact, meet in silence without any chanting, singing etc.

    In other words, it would be easier to be covid safe for the vigil planned than the disorganised event that happened, and easier to be covid safe than the BLM protests of the summer.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    How to be covid safe: meet in the open air in a large space like Clapham Common, wear masks, maintain distance between people and no physical contact, meet in silence without any chanting, singing etc.

    In other words, it would be easier to be covid safe for the vigil planned than the disorganised event that happened, and easier to be covid safe than the BLM protests of the summer.

    That's why I said 'legal and Covid-safe'. The point is that however Covid-safe your protest - or your playgroup or your 500-guest funeral - there does not appear to be a way to make it also legal.

    I say 'does not appear' because I admit I'd overlooked the court case. From this report, it doesn't sound like the High Court said it would or could be legal. It sounds more like the High Court wussed out of expressing an opinion on how it could be legal (probably justifiably, given the state of the law).
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    edited March 14
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    “The police have got it wrong at every single turn,” she said. Not just the final image that we see, but all day yesterday and the day before, the police did not try and find a way for a peaceful protest - not a protest, actually - a vigil, a moment.

    They did not try to find a way to work with women who are sad and angry and upset to be able to, not even gather but just go to Clapham Common.

    Not denying that the overall result was shite, but what scope did the Met have to do any of those things?

    The High Court had deemed that a gathering would be legal, it was thus on the Met to meet with the organisation involved to work out how to hold it in a legal manner.

    Incidentally, legal or not, it was peaceful enough to be used by Kate Middleton as a photo-op before the Met waded in.
  • OMG!
    :open_mouth:

    A ROYAL might have been arrested!
    *swoons*
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    What a spectacular fail by the Met. Why Dick should resign I don't understand. Watching male agitators in the demo now. A perfect storm. If the Met had done nothing they'd have been wrong too. Better in hindsight.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    “The police have got it wrong at every single turn,” she said. Not just the final image that we see, but all day yesterday and the day before, the police did not try and find a way for a peaceful protest - not a protest, actually - a vigil, a moment.

    They did not try to find a way to work with women who are sad and angry and upset to be able to, not even gather but just go to Clapham Common.

    Not denying that the overall result was shite, but what scope did the Met have to do any of those things?

    The High Court had deemed that a gathering would be legal,

    Do you have a source for that? This report and the one I posted above suggest rather that the High Court refused to give an opinion.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Why do the Police never understand that people no longer see them as nice Dixon of Dock Green types?

    Because (I've said it before and I'll say it again) law enforcement as a profession tends to attract bullies who want to practice their bullying under protection of law.
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    “The police have got it wrong at every single turn,” she said. Not just the final image that we see, but all day yesterday and the day before, the police did not try and find a way for a peaceful protest - not a protest, actually - a vigil, a moment.

    They did not try to find a way to work with women who are sad and angry and upset to be able to, not even gather but just go to Clapham Common.

    Not denying that the overall result was shite, but what scope did the Met have to do any of those things?

    The High Court had deemed that a gathering would be legal,

    Do you have a source for that? This report and the one I posted above suggest rather that the High Court refused to give an opinion.

    You are right that the advice was somewhat more equivocal, though less so than the Standard link suggests. Specifically the judge was fairly clear that a 'blanket prohibition' on protests would be unlawful: https://twitter.com/ReclaimTS/status/1370838667925786626/photo/2
  • OMG!
    :open_mouth:

    A ROYAL might have been arrested!
    *swoons*

    Incredible that some of the press made it about Kate Middleton, not the vigil about a murdered woman.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited March 14
    I suppose Dick must take the rap, it happened on her watch, she will have set the tone by commission or omission. She should have seen the optics in advance.

  • OMG!
    :open_mouth:

    A ROYAL might have been arrested!
    *swoons*

    Incredible that some of the press made it about Kate Middleton, not the vigil about a murdered woman.

    Nothing like a Royal Personage, or a dead cat, to deflect attention from what's important.
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I suppose Dick must take the rap, it happened on her watch, she will have set the tone by commission or omission. She should have seen the optics in advance.

    Yes, it was on her watch. Now we shall see how honourable she is, and how much more honourable than Patel (not that that's difficult to achieve).

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    OMG!
    :open_mouth:

    A ROYAL might have been arrested!
    *swoons*

    Incredible that some of the press made it about Kate Middleton, not the vigil about a murdered woman.

    Nothing like a Royal Personage, or a dead cat, to deflect attention from what's important.
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I suppose Dick must take the rap, it happened on her watch, she will have set the tone by commission or omission. She should have seen the optics in advance.

    Yes, it was on her watch. Now we shall see how honourable she is, and how much more honourable than Patel (not that that's difficult to achieve).

    Bloody well said, she is an evil witch. Watch her throw the police under the bus.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    The bigger issue is the upcoming legislation on peaceful protests. Time we got on the street friends, they can't arrest us all.

    This. In the future, if there's anything you might ever feel strongly enough about that you'd consider protesting about - well, tough. You can't.

    I see that Labour intend to oppose the latest attempt by Boris to curtail peaceful protests:
    https://theguardian.com/politics/2021/mar/14/labour-to-oppose-bill-giving-police-more-powers-to-crack-down-on-protests

    Meanwhile, the photo of the young woman being held down by police officers has gone viral. It seems they were male officers...well, well.

    BTW, I recall *peacefully protesting* against Thatcher in 1985, when the GLC was under threat (I was one of Red Ken's lads). An incident occurred whilst the crowd - 30000 of us! - was assembling in Hyde Park, and I saw how weak and feeble the police officers were. Why, it took six of them to arrest one (black) man...
  • Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
    edited March 14
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    The police isn't there to protect us. It's there to police us. Any 'protection' we might feel is illusory. If this is finally getting through to nice middle class white people, then good, but this kind of thing has been happening from before Peterloo,

    Had a bit of a double take on reading this. I admit to being white and middle class but I thought the origins of the police force in the UK, particularly London, *was* to protect us.
    So I looked on historic-uk.com ; 'Sir Robert Peel' and read this:
    '...London was sadly lacking in any form of protective presence and crime prevention for its people.' '..British Bobbies patrol the streets and keep the population safe from wrong-doers..'

  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    I wonder what the poor grieving parents make of all this.
  • They must be devastated, but seem to be sensibly preserving a discreet silence.
    Merry Vole wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    The police isn't there to protect us. It's there to police us. Any 'protection' we might feel is illusory. If this is finally getting through to nice middle class white people, then good, but this kind of thing has been happening from before Peterloo,

    Had a bit of a double take on reading this. I admit to being white and middle class but I thought the origins of the police force in the UK, particularly London, *was* to protect us.
    So I looked on historic-uk.com ; 'Sir Robert Peel' and read this:
    '...London was sadly lacking in any form of protective presence and crime prevention for its people.' '..British Bobbies patrol the streets and keep the population safe from wrong-doers..'

    Ah, that was Then. This is Now, when the police are becoming more and more of a weapon for the state to wield against the citizens.

    Remember the Miners' Strike, and the way the police were used then?

  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    The police isn't there to protect us. It's there to police us. Any 'protection' we might feel is illusory. If this is finally getting through to nice middle class white people, then good, but this kind of thing has been happening from before Peterloo,

    Had a bit of a double take on reading this. I admit to being white and middle class but I thought the origins of the police force in the UK, particularly London, *was* to protect us.
    So I looked on historic-uk.com ; 'Sir Robert Peel' and read this:
    '...London was sadly lacking in any form of protective presence and crime prevention for its people.' '..British Bobbies patrol the streets and keep the population safe from wrong-doers..'

    At the time they were very unpopular; both with the working class who saw a potential standing army being set up that would be used against them (Peterloo was still fresh in the minds of people), and by the middle classes who feared a secret police and damage to their civil liberties (as had been the case in France).
  • And what do we find now?

    The police being used against the working-class (or average citizens, if you prefer), and civil liberties being curtailed...
    :grimace:
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    The police isn't there to protect us. It's there to police us. Any 'protection' we might feel is illusory. If this is finally getting through to nice middle class white people, then good, but this kind of thing has been happening from before Peterloo,

    Had a bit of a double take on reading this. I admit to being white and middle class but I thought the origins of the police force in the UK, particularly London, *was* to protect us.
    So I looked on historic-uk.com ; 'Sir Robert Peel' and read this:
    '...London was sadly lacking in any form of protective presence and crime prevention for its people.' '..British Bobbies patrol the streets and keep the population safe from wrong-doers..'

    You do realise that that's, well, a bit of a gloss.

    From the mid-middle ages, communities were essentially tasked with regulating themselves, with the appointment of constables (enforcement) and sheriffs (judges) to oversee the whole process. Towns and cities developed watches, which was a semi-formal arrangement between the towns rulers and the merchant and artisan classes to protect their businesses, customers, and their houses from lawlessness. The idea that Britain was a lawless place prior to 1749/1829 is nonsense on a stick.

    The law enforcement capability of the ordinary citizen (under the order of hue and cry) was eroded by statute. We're now in the position where the state has a monopoly on violence - we can't even defend ourselves from assaults by police officers without committing a criminal offence.

    We talk a lot about police by consent - this is true, because there are so many more of us than there are of them, and as @ExclamationMark notes, they can't arrest us all. But, as we've seen, repeatedly, that they're quite happy to police through fear as well.
  • The photos are disturbing. Cressida Dick should take responsibility for the actions of her officers. But we're now in a world where such people never take responsibility - they offer mealy-mouthed words of sympathy and explanation and then carry on as if nothing happened.
  • This.
    :rage:
  • Nothing about this is okay. It made international news. Public inquiry and mandatory training for the police. The police should have attended with boxes of masks to hand out, and expressed their support. Re the head person to resign, not sure. How about an inquiry shows who have the orders? Firing the boss won't change the corporate culture.
  • Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
    edited March 14
    I don't suppose Cressida Dick has done anything for which she can be fired. But if she isn't responsible for the 'corporate culture' who is?
    She should *offer* her resignation to the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London. That 'back me or sack me' would put the ball in the court of those who are accountable to the electorate.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    ISTM that if Cressida Dick should resign, then so should Priti Patel, since she is the once responsible for the legal framework in which the Met is supposed to be operating.

    Ultimately, if a High Court judge refuses to say whether a protest can go ahead, then ISTM unreasonable to expect the Met to second-guess the law. And that situation is entirely the responsibility of the people who make the laws.
  • Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
    picking up on something @Doc Tor said about defending ourselves from assaults by the police; it has always puzzled me why people at protests sometimes appear to resist arrest when it would seem that that increases their chances of being hurt, whether deliberately or accidentaly. And it amazes me when criminals resist arrest and then complain about their bruises or whatever. I can't see how policing can work unless it is always an offence to (physically) assault a police officer.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Purgatory Host
    There a difference between resisting arrest being an offence, and it being ok for the police to beat you up.
  • Maybe it's also the case that, if a couple of burly coppers throw themselves at you, the adrenalin starts to flow, and getting away, no matter what, suddenly becomes of the utmost importance...
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