By Mike Speakman, Policing and Law & Order Spokesman, ex Deputy Chief Constable.
8th July 2020
We all know about the knife crime epidemic in London, but we never thought it would extend up to the highest ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service. Cressida Dick has stabbed her own officers in the back and then thrown them under the bus. Despite two internal reviews finding that the officers who conducted the stop had acted lawfully and with propriety, Commissioner Cressida Dick has apologised to Bianca Williams and her partner for their treatment.
Despite the IOPC saying they will investigate; she has pre-empted their findings. I have not seen the officer’s bodycam footage, but others have, and they variously report the car being driven down the wrong side of the road with the door open. The vehicle also apparently had tinted windows and it was not possible to see who was inside.
It is highly unlikely that the internal reviews conducted by the Met were a whitewash. Whoever conducted the reviews would have known that they would be scrutinised and that nothing could be concealed. They must have felt very confident of the public announcement that nothing was untoward. Why then the apology? I can only see it as the latest in a long line of senior police commanders appeasing minority communities. Tension is high at the moment because of the actions of the Marxist Black Lives Matter movement who have made race an issue like never before. For years now police leadership have appeased minority groups from “grooming gangs” to outright street thuggery. It continues to this day. They will not learn the lesson that appeasement doesn’t work.
The country rests on a knife edge, police control of the streets is fragile. It is fundamental to all policing that the Police have control of our streets. You cannot police if you do not have access. This control has visibly been surrendered in recent months to various groups behaving unlawfully, for example, Extinction Rebellion and Black lives Matter who have openly broken the law, almost without exception with the support of the police.
Cressida Dick’s abject failure to support her own officers will have consequences. Many bobbies will say and some already are “Why should I bother?”. If you are doing the job lawfully and diligently you have every right to expect your boss to support you. In years gone by Chief Constables were independent people who understood leadership and knew you backed your people when they undeservedly came under attack. Unfortunately, our modern police leaders are more about management than leadership. They fail to realise that part of their job is to support their staff.
If I was a Met bobby I would be saying “What’s the point?” Some may vote with their feet just like they have in some US cities. If the wheel really comes off and we end up in the next few weeks with large scale disorder in our cities, a prospect which is becoming more likely every day, do Cressida Dick and other Police Chiefs expect their bobbies to answer the call. It must be in doubt if they feel they are not supported by their bosses.
The retired bobbies and senior officers I am in touch with are itching to get back and sort the current mess out. Not for the first time I am saying Policing has lost its way. For Britain would remove the current crop of police leaders. They are not fit for purpose.