‘ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what’s going on ‘ere then? Not a lot as far as police evidence to Croydon’s riots review panel, ANDREW PELLING has discovered
The deadline for evidence submissions to the panel, chaired by William Barnett QC, was noon last Monday. Yet a member of the Barnett review panel’s secretariat has told Inside Croydon that the police has yet to provide any evidence, though they did add that they hoped that the police would do so.
A spokesman for Croydon police told Inside Croydon that he did not know whether the police service will submit evidence in public to the review panel.
The new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, has been admirably frank about the failures of the Met during the London riots in August.
Last week he told MPs that the Met had just 11 per cent of its police officers out on the streets to face up to the rioters. That figure reflects Inside Croydon’s report of the admission of Chief Inspector Nanji, at a West Croydon public meeting with young people in September, that as few as 60 officers were on the streets of the whole Croydon Borough during the first part the 8/8 Croydon riots (click here to see our report).
The total Croydon police officer complement in Croydon in August as published by the Metropolitan Police Authority was 704 police officers, along with 195 Special Constables, 141 Police Community Support Officers and 126 civil staff to look after them.
The Met’s 11 per cent street turnout figure compares poorly with Merseyside, where Hogan-Howe was in charge at the time, which mobilised 17 per cent of its officers.
Will it be as easy for Croydon’s police borough command to be so full of mea culpas in public when the council-run public review takes place?
Croydon police proved most reluctant to take part in the council’s previous public review, of the Euro football riot in Croydon town centre.
There are also issues of the police’s liabilities for damage caused by the riots; it may be that the police’s lawyers have advised non-participation in the public review of 8/8.
It’s a tough call for Croydon police, who ought to feel some accountability to Council Tax-payers, at a time when police numbers in London are being cut by 1,200, including several sergeant positions in Croydon’s neighbourhood policing teams.
- Inside Croydon: brought to you free of charge, an independent voice standing for freedom of speech for the people of Croydon
- Croydon’s riot panel given just two weeks to collect evidence (insidecroydon.com)
- Croydon police chief says her force was overstretched (insidecroydon.com)
- Riots? What riots? Now Croydon’s Mayor is in denial (insidecroydon.com)
- Croydon 8/8: Police admit only 100 officers in thin blue line (insidecroydon.com)
- Croydon 8/8: Borough’s top cop was called away before riots (insidecroydon.com)
- All together now: with the non-public, non-inquiry panel (insidecroydon.com)