Statement by Metropolitan Police Authority Chair Len Duvall in the wake of the publication of the IPCC’s findings
into the conduct of officers following the
shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by Metropolitan Police Service
officers on 22 July 2005:
“It must always be remembered that the background to the report today is the death of Jean Charles de Menezes. It was a tragedy. He became the 53rd victim, along with many injured, caused by terrorism in the capital in July 2005.
The MPA is the independent statutory body that oversees the work of the MPS and we recognise and fully support the vital part that they have to play in protecting the people of London and the UK from terrorism.
This report does not make comfortable reading for either the MPA or the MPS, even though a number of recommendations in both this report and the previous IPCC Stockwell report have already been implemented. Both the Commissioner and his senior management team, along with MPA officials have assured me that the recommendations from Stockwell 1 and 2, along with further work we have undertaken, have been implemented. I am confident that the whole of the MPS, both individuals and the organisation, has learned lessons from this tragic event. Two years on, the MPS is now in a very different place on all issues relating to Stockwell.
Under the stewardship of Sir Ian Blair since July 2005, his senior management team have achieved remarkable successes, including some outstanding counter-terrorist operations and convictions. I particularly want to address the suggestion that Sir Ian Blair cannot take bad news – this cannot be further from the truth. Any one who has worked with him closely knows that this is not the case and that he cares passionately about the MPS, its people and equally the service the organisation provides to the people of London.
Londoners must be able to trust what their police service tells them, especially in circumstances where they are being asked to be vigilant and maintain high levels of awareness.
Trust in this information is absolutely paramount and in many circumstances can be a vital message of reassurance. The Authority will continue to work to ensure that the MPS’s internal methods of working and communications are efficient and effective.
Even though we have already implemented changes the MPA and MPS now need a period of reflection to consider this report and I have asked the MPS to respond fully to a meeting of the full Authority which I have brought forward to Thursday 6 September.
The IPCC Report also requires the MPA to consider the specific actions of Assistant Commissioner Hayman and the MPA Professional Standards sub-committee will now consider whether the allegations should give rise to disciplinary action against him. The sub-committee expects to reach its decision by the autumn. We will not be commenting further until the process is completed.
The IPCC has also spoken to us about the way that the Salmon process operated in this case. Following consultation with the IPCC, the MPA today asked Sir Ronnie Flannagan, Chief HMIC, to review how the process operated in this case and to report back to us as soon as possible.
The IPCC is an independent organisation which I value. I firmly believe, along with the MPS, that their work is an integral part of ensuring the accountability of the police service.
The terrorist atrocities of July 2005 made unprecedented demands on the MPS and the fight against terrorism will present challenges to policing for many years to come, in London and across the country. The MPA will continue its dual role in holding the MPS to account and to fully support the men and women who work at all levels of the MPS as it meets these exceptional circumstances and responsibilities.”