Andrew Mitchell MP

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Mick F
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby Mick F » 1 Dec 2014, 9:29am

Yes, it's good that people should cycle rather than use a car.

............. but,

Where was AM actually going on the fateful day?
Just round the corner?
Maybe only a mile?

Although cycling is A Good Thing generally, it's not such a good thing as walking is, if you are only doing a mile on the busy streets of London.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Dec 2014, 12:39pm

irc wrote: ... Seems there was.

paragraph 4.76
http://www.iocco-uk.info/docs/Met%20Ope ... Report.pdf

He confirmed that prior to his appointment as the Downing Street Liaison Sergeant in 2010, a directive was sent out by
Civil Servant 7 of the Downing Street Internal Security Team that no cyclists were to enter through the vehicle gates at Downing Street. This was for reasons of security in that the gates are large and cumbersome and therefore take longer to open and close. This created a greater risk that an intruder or unauthorised vehicle could enter Downing Street.


Taking this back to the OP, it seems from this link that the investigations into so-called Plebgate have revealed that there was already an underlying issue of discrimination against cycling as a mode of transport. A motor car surely presents a much greater security threat than a pedal cycle: to spell it out, it can carry more terrorists/ explosives/ weapons and cars have been used as battering rams. In spite of this, the security arrangements bear down on cyclists while seeming to treat the use of motor vehicles as an unavoidable necessity.

As the facts emerged, perhaps the CTC made discreet representations. If not, there's still time.

The OP calls for similar experiences and I'll mention the way panniers etc were banned from being left on pedal cycles parked at railway stations when no attempt was made to check parked cars, even when there was a car park between the cycle parking and the station.

BTW and still with the OP, I don't think this incident reflected badly on cyclists more generally, although I'd not be offering Andrew Mitchell life membership for services to cycling.

MickF - Media reports suggest that he was on his way to his club and was already late.

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby Psamathe » 1 Dec 2014, 1:15pm

thirdcrank wrote:
irc wrote: ... Seems there was.

paragraph 4.76
http://www.iocco-uk.info/docs/Met%20Ope ... Report.pdf

He confirmed that prior to his appointment as the Downing Street Liaison Sergeant in 2010, a directive was sent out by
Civil Servant 7 of the Downing Street Internal Security Team that no cyclists were to enter through the vehicle gates at Downing Street. This was for reasons of security in that the gates are large and cumbersome and therefore take longer to open and close. This created a greater risk that an intruder or unauthorised vehicle could enter Downing Street.


Taking this back to the OP, it seems from this link that the investigations into so-called Plebgate have revealed that there was already an underlying issue of discrimination against cycling as a mode of transport. A motor car surely presents a much greater security threat than a pedal cycle: to spell it out, it can carry more terrorists/ explosives/ weapons and cars have been used as battering rams. In spite of this, the security arrangements bear down on cyclists while seeming to treat the use of motor vehicles as an unavoidable necessity.

Depends on how you look at it. You could say that once the main gates are even partly open the risk increases as a motorised vehicle could then ram the gates and no human would be able to hold them shut. Hence they try to avoid unnecessarily opening the main gates too lower overall risks.

Plus, when the main gates are being opened for a car, then there is a car blocking further access to Downing Street - effectively blocking decent and ramming vehicle. But a cyclist on a bike would not do much to stop a car running at the part opened gates.

So I don't see the security rules discriminating against bikes (or anybody). They are just doing what they feel is appropriate to maintain security - something I have no experience of.

Ian

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby Mick F » 1 Dec 2014, 1:31pm

thirdcrank wrote:MickF - Media reports suggest that he was on his way to his club and was already late.
Do we know which club and how far?

With hindsight, he may have done better by just running. :lol:
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Dec 2014, 1:35pm

Mick F wrote: ... Do we know which club and how far? ...


It did say which club but I can't remember. It definitely wasn't Cyclists Touring... :wink:

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby snibgo » 1 Dec 2014, 4:53pm

[I haven't read the whole thread, so sorry if this point has been made.]
Psamathe wrote:Hence they try to avoid unnecessarily opening the main gates too lower overall risks.

Yeah, sure. But gates can be modified. And they should be. If a car can easily go in and out, then cycling in and out should be just as easy. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to insert a cycle-gate into that massive monstrosity across Downing Street.

Those barriers are anti-cycling barriers. Yes, I know they were designed as anti-terrorist barriers, but they can and should be changed to make cycling as easy as driving.

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby irc » 1 Dec 2014, 6:49pm

thirdcrank wrote:Taking this back to the OP, it seems from this link that the investigations into so-called Plebgate have revealed that there was already an underlying issue of discrimination against cycling as a mode of transport. A motor car surely presents a much greater security threat than a pedal cycle: to spell it out, it can carry more terrorists/ explosives/ weapons and cars have been used as battering rams. In spite of this, the security arrangements bear down on cyclists while seeming to treat the use of motor vehicles as an unavoidable necessity.



Any opening of the main gate is a chance for an unauthorised motor vehicles to enter before they can be closed again. The danger from this is obvious. As for the necessity of ministerial cars going through the gates - I'd rather our PM be dropped outside his front door rather than in a busy street. Less of a threat. Obviously politicians are in the street elsewhere but their movements elsewhere are less predictable than the PM entering or leaving Downing St.
I think on balance letting authorised vehicles access Downing St is desirable and restricting the number of times the main gate is opened is also desirable.

It's not like waiting 10 seconds for a PC to walk from the main gate and unlock the side gate is a hardship.

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Dec 2014, 7:00pm

The point I'm making is that cars are allowed entry because that's taken for granted. Arguably greater security is applied to pedal cycles because it's possible. Remember, I started this bit of the thread after reference back to the OP where it was suggested that with a bit of planning better provision for cyclists could be made, both here and elsewhere. I'm not suggesting that security should be dropped. On the contrary. However, unnecessarily onerous security is in nobody's interest, partly because it risks being ignored.

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby BE1 » 1 Dec 2014, 7:30pm

Mick F wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:MickF - Media reports suggest that he was on his way to his club and was already late.
Do we know which club and how far?

With hindsight, he may have done better by just running. :lol:


Funnily enough, It was the Carlton Club :D

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby Psamathe » 1 Dec 2014, 8:29pm

thirdcrank wrote:The point I'm making is that cars are allowed entry because that's taken for granted. Arguably greater security is applied to pedal cycles because it's possible. Remember, I started this bit of the thread after reference back to the OP where it was suggested that with a bit of planning better provision for cyclists could be made, both here and elsewhere. I'm not suggesting that security should be dropped. On the contrary. However, unnecessarily onerous security is in nobody's interest, partly because it risks being ignored.

Personally, if there is some spare money to spend on improving cycle access I'd rather it was spent elsewhere where loads and loads of people could make use of the improvement rather that save a few MPs a few seconds every now and again. Particularly as (some of) those MPs seem to not always be the nicest people around.

Ian

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby Edwards » 1 Dec 2014, 9:04pm

Psamathe wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:The point I'm making is that cars are allowed entry because that's taken for granted. Arguably greater security is applied to pedal cycles because it's possible. Remember, I started this bit of the thread after reference back to the OP where it was suggested that with a bit of planning better provision for cyclists could be made, both here and elsewhere. I'm not suggesting that security should be dropped. On the contrary. However, unnecessarily onerous security is in nobody's interest, partly because it risks being ignored.

Personally, if there is some spare money to spend on improving cycle access I'd rather it was spent elsewhere where loads and loads of people could make use of the improvement rather that save a few MPs a few seconds every now and again. Particularly as (some of) those MPs seem to not always be the nicest people around.

Ian


But how many people are allowed to cycle down that street?

I keep asking if the other employees of the state are allowed to do so and nobody seems to know.

So I think that this is not about cyclists but about one cyclist being allowed down there.
Keith Edwards
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Dec 2014, 9:09pm

Psamathe

Fair enough, but the OP particularly mentioned cases more generally where better cycle access could be achieved at the planning stage. I'm not advocating spending money on the Downing Street gates. (I nearly wrote "spending a penny" but that had implications of not trying to extinguish a fire if certain people were ablaze. :wink: )

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby TonyR » 1 Dec 2014, 9:25pm

irc wrote:
TonyR wrote:[Also I sent in a FoI request to ask for a copy of the policy and got off the fob off on security grounds. Someone else (I think here) asked for it and was told there was no such document.


Seems there was.

paragraph 4.76
http://www.iocco-uk.info/docs/Met%20Ope ... Report.pdf


That's not at all clear when you add bits that you didn't quote. It says:

4.76 He confirmed that prior to his appointment as the Downing Street Liaison Sergeant in 2010, a directive was sent out by Civil Servant 7 of the Downing Street Internal Security Team that no cyclists were to enter through the vehicle gates at Downing Street. This was for reasons of security in that the gates are large and cumbersome and therefore take longer to open and close. This created a greater risk that an intruder or unauthorised vehicle could enter Downing Street. All DPG officers are aware of this policy.

4.77 However, PS Norton went on to say that Cabinet Ministers who required urgent access to Downing Street were afforded some leeway and that officers could use discretion in respect of high profile individuals who required access. This process was formalised in June 2011 so that Cabinet Ministers were allowed unfettered access to Downing Street. He did not believe that the same applied to Cabinet Ministers who wished to exit the gates as there would be no urgent need to see the Prime Minister.


But that is a policy about entry not exit and it is unclear in that the Chief Whip is a member of Cabinet but not a Minister.

Now you may say that entry equally implies exit but in another paragraph it says:

11.2 Civil Servant 2 wrote to Officer 12 DPG on the 7th June 2011 to complain formally about DPG officers refusing access to Downing Street to Cabinet ministers or failing to recognise them in a reasonable amount of time. Civil Servant 2 wrote that ‘members of HM cabinet are entitled to unfettered access to Downing Street any time day or night and at any entry point’. PS Norton emailed DPG officers on the 7th June 2011 reminding them that ‘all members of the cabinet are allowed unfettered access to Downing Street, at all times, by whatever entrance they choose’. Both these communications relate only to entry to Downing Street not egress.


So putting these two together, any policy was about entry through the gates, not exit and as a member of Cabinet Mitchell should have been given unfettered access through the gates for entry in the entry policy and there was no exit policy. What is noted though elsewhere is despite this policy Mitchell was twice denied entry on his bike, once where it was opened to allow a colleague through with his police protection officers. So you can understand why his exasperation built up and also why he asked if they knew who he was i.e. a member of Cabinet who should have had unfettered access.

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby TonyR » 1 Dec 2014, 9:29pm

irc wrote:It's not like waiting 10 seconds for a PC to walk from the main gate and unlock the side gate is a hardship.


Equally if we're honest neither is obeying a Cyclist Dismount sign but it still irritates the heck out of us that they even consider suggesting it.

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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby TonyR » 1 Dec 2014, 9:31pm

thirdcrank wrote:MickF - Media reports suggest that he was on his way to his club and was already late.


Nicely spun to make him appear a toff and bad. What the police investigation report says is:

He described feeling emotionally drained after a long day and said that he was late for a speaking engagement.