Andrew Mitchell MP

TonyR
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby TonyR » 15 Jan 2013, 10:21pm

meic wrote:Times may have changed since I was in the military but actually we were not very good at doing civilian things.


All I can say is the Army manned security at the Olympics was absolutely fantastic. The right balance of friendliness and rigour and so so much better than if it has been done by Group 4.

TonyR
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby TonyR » 15 Jan 2013, 10:37pm

BeeKeeper wrote:As Si has asked we return to the original question I will give it a bash - albeit I may be adding fuel to the fire.

Why would the police prefer a cyclist to leave Downing St by a pedestrian gate rather than a vehicle gate? I would suggest because of the threat from suicide car bombers. If they open the gate for a car the car leaving or entering will act as a buffer if someone tried to ram their car past it. However, a cyclist would be no obstacle and the bomber could simply run over them and even if the gate was not fully open the speed of the ramming car would soon open it and then the bomber would be inside Downing St. It wouldn't matter if they didn't get very far before being taken out because even if they only managed to get in a few yards before setting off their bomb it would achieve the effect they would be after.

The way to stop this is to use a double barrier - open the first one, let vehicle in and then close it before opening the second, but I don't remember seeing anything like that the last time I was there - which was so long ago the encumbent PM smoked a cigar and liked a tipple IIRC.

Even if there are little magic bollards sliding out of the ground to act as obstacles (which there probably are) it does not alter the fact that when you are guarding a high profile target as a rule of thumb you only open the defences as far as they need to go to achieve entry or exit - hence bikes should use the pedestrian gate in Downing Street. The idea of controlling access by the use of narrow sections to avoid an enemy stampeding in dates back to medieval castles and beyond. It is a principle which has stood the test of time.


Three answers to that scenario. First there is a big security barrier behind the gates. Second it would be quite possible to rush the pedestrian gate in the same way with a rucksack if you wanted to create an impact of the nature you suggest. Third and finally, if it was such a risk you would think they would have a policy for it but they don't and they have been quite happy to open the gate for cyclists on other occasions so its clearly not a scenario that has troubled them.

There is an interesting New Statesman article questioning what legal powers the police had to obstruct him. http://www.newstatesman.com/david-allen ... ing-street

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Jan 2013, 11:35pm

TonyR

I found that a very informative article not least because it answers the first question that came into my mind when this incident was first reported. ie What are the police powers? It shows, for example, that the entry in Wiki which says that the closure is based on common law powers to prevent a Breach of the Peace, became out-of-date when those regulations were enacted. Perhaps the secrecy apparently surrounding the new regulations explains why they hadn't found their way into wiki. (I've not checked again, but it can't be long before that's rectified.)

It seems clear to me that in terms of the secrecy attaching to security planning and operations, there's a huge difference between the legislation being used - which should be open for all to inspect, and the way some aspects of the duties are carried out - where publicity may compromise what's being done. Nobody could suggest with a straight face that some terrorist group would get legal advice on exploiting a loophole in the regulations, but they would be very interested in information about security plans etc.

I'll jump to the conclusion that the current regulations were drafted by lawyers employed or instructed by the govt / police / local authority at a pretty senior level.

PS I see that the article was published on 19 December. I wish I'd known about it sooner and I'm grateful for your link tonight.
Last edited by thirdcrank on 15 Jan 2013, 11:41pm, edited 1 time in total.

hexhome
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby hexhome » 15 Jan 2013, 11:35pm

http://www.cnc.police.uk/

Still very much armed and roaming the highways and byeways!

TonyR
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby TonyR » 16 Jan 2013, 6:44am

thirdcrank wrote:I'll jump to the conclusion that the current regulations were drafted by lawyers employed or instructed by the govt / police / local authority at a pretty senior level.


Would those be the same senior lawyers who advised Theresa May on Abu Qatada's deportation :wink: ?

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Jan 2013, 2:39pm

TonyR wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:I'll jump to the conclusion that the current regulations were drafted by lawyers employed or instructed by the govt / police / local authority at a pretty senior level.


Would those be the same senior lawyers who advised Theresa May on Abu Qatada's deportation :wink: ?


Point taken, but I wasn't commenting on the quality of the legal advice or the resulting decisions, but rather the level at which the decisions etc took place. It seems to me that if the Home Affairs Select Committee want to shine a light on what's been ging on, that's the sort of issue to start on. Never mind freedom of information requests, there's no reason why there shoudn't be signs on or near the gates explaining the legal authority under which they have been installed, and the rules for going through the gates.

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Jan 2013, 6:52am

They must be using Duracell batteries in this particular rabbit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21107743

I see that this story about a committee hearing which to place "earlier this month" was added to the BBC site at 0215 today (ie in the small hours of a Monday.) Things work in mysterious ways. :?

Shootist
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby Shootist » 21 Jan 2013, 9:22am

As far as police powers are concerned, the principle was first exposed (AFAIK) in the novel Catch-22. To specify, "They can do anything to you that you can't stop them doing."

So, if the police don't want you to enter the Downing Street gates, you ain't going to. I think that ACPO must start their morning prayers with a grateful thank you for the rise of terrorism.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

TonyR
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby TonyR » 1 Feb 2013, 5:32pm

Looks like this is getting even more curious. Two more police officers, one of whom was in Downing Street at the time, have now been arrested for misconduct in a public office and leaking to the press.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21277093
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21299860

Shootist
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby Shootist » 5 Feb 2013, 3:41pm

TonyR wrote:Looks like this is getting even more curious. Two more police officers, one of whom was in Downing Street at the time, have now been arrested for misconduct in a public office and leaking to the press.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21277093
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21299860


Having just watched a BBC report into the matter, I think that some police heads are going to roll big time, with possibly a couple doing time. It certainly seems like a total stitch up to me. Not that I'm much concerned about Mr Mitchell, who is a politician and therefore deserving of no sympathy whatever. But it worries me when police officers seem to have combined to lie about events for the purposes of discrediting someone they have taken a dislike to, and are then supported by the head of service.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

kwackers
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby kwackers » 5 Feb 2013, 4:04pm

I wonder how many people just like me wonder why on earth I pay anything for the police?

I read somewhere that they will no longer be handling (small) cases of fraud, they don't bother with traffic and I believe most thefts and burglary's are handled by simply handing out crime numbers.
The few times I've had any dealings, my complaints have just disappeared into a black hole never to be heard of again.
Finally at the end of the day it seems they're playing politics too, despite not being elected!

Exactly what is their function?

From where I'm stood it seems their primary function is to hand out crime numbers.
(No wonder the starting salary is being reduced, anyone can hand out crime numbers...)

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Feb 2013, 4:17pm

It probably goes without saying that this is something I've been watching with interest. Whatever the result of the continuing enquiries by the police and IPCC the spinning seems to have turned its focus on Downing Street (as an institution rather than a place.)

This is from an item on the BBC news website yesterday.

When he first saw the footage, which was mute and lasted about a minute, Mr Mitchell said his initial reaction was one of "absolute horror".

"It did not show what the log purported that it did show. There is no sign of the aggressive behaviour that you would associate with the log. Of course you can't hear anything but there is no evidence of dialogue.

"Had I used those phrases you would expect some reaction from the policeman who is going in front of me. And thirdly, there are references in the log and in the email to there being a crowd of horrified onlookers outside the gate."


Bearing in mind how long he had been kept waiting to see the footage, you might have expected him to be gratified that it corroborated what he'd been saying all along. :? Perhaps his real problem was that until he could be 100% certain what the footage showed, he was left unsure what to say, all along.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21326604

reohn2
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby reohn2 » 5 Feb 2013, 4:32pm

kwackers wrote:I wonder how many people just like me wonder why on earth I pay anything for the police?

I read somewhere that they will no longer be handling (small) cases of fraud, they don't bother with traffic and I believe most thefts and burglary's are handled by simply handing out crime numbers.
The few times I've had any dealings, my complaints have just disappeared into a black hole never to be heard of again.
Finally at the end of the day it seems they're playing politics too, despite not being elected!

Exactly what is their function?

From where I'm stood it seems their primary function is to hand out crime numbers.
(No wonder the starting salary is being reduced, anyone can hand out crime numbers...)

If it weren't so true,it'd be laughable.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

Shootist
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Location: Derby

Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby Shootist » 5 Feb 2013, 4:56pm

kwackers wrote:I wonder how many people just like me wonder why on earth I pay anything for the police?

I read somewhere that they will no longer be handling (small) cases of fraud, they don't bother with traffic and I believe most thefts and burglary's are handled by simply handing out crime numbers.
The few times I've had any dealings, my complaints have just disappeared into a black hole never to be heard of again.
Finally at the end of the day it seems they're playing politics too, despite not being elected!

Exactly what is their function?

From where I'm stood it seems their primary function is to hand out crime numbers.
(No wonder the starting salary is being reduced, anyone can hand out crime numbers...)


The function of the police has morphed into simply justifying the police. So, terrorism becomes important because it justifies their demands for increased powers of arrest, detention, and surveillance. Assaults on police become important because they justify an ever increasing arsenal of weapons, and a level of pay considerably above the average, or very above average if you relate it only to jobs people actually want to do. Their basic external function is to keep the sheeple under control. No problem with the legions of drongos that what is laughingly called the education system is turning out, and they bow to the ruling classes, so it's down on the middle classes, who are always willing to roll over and take a kicking for the good of the nation.

Nowadays, the police will vilify courts for throwing out their shoddily presented, barely investigated, cases. They will defend their actions however indefensible, saying that people outside the police simply do not understand. Defending from villainy the decent majority of the public, however daft, well meaning and a bit dim they were/are, used to be the function of the police. Now the police look upon the public with contempt. They get by because it is fairly easy to lock up criminal idiots, so they have success to brag about. It is fairly easy to blame courts for their inaction instead of their own incompetence because the majority of the public(and a large percentage of police officers) have no idea whatever about how the courts work.
Pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious."
[George Orwell]

thirdcrank
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Re: Andrew Mitchell MP

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Feb 2013, 5:00pm

kwackers wrote: ... Exactly what is their function? ...


Sorry I missed this. I was labouring away preparing a post on notepad and I didn't notice your post.

I think the current problem is that nobody knows. There are some areas of policing which the govt is keen to retain (such as having an armed police-force-within-a-police-force doing things like guarding Downing Street) and plenty more where the govt has little or no interest so spin will do. An idea of govt thinking might be seen in the recently formed National Crime Agency.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/nca/

(Anybody opening the link should be aware it's real "hit the ground running" stuff.)

In the meantime we er, plebs may make do with a shrinking, demoralised workforce at the local level. I watched one of our local PCC's on the local news yesterday. Among her plans was a substantial increase in the numbers of special constables (ie unpaid volunteer police.) This has been the dream of politicians, especially the patricians for as long as I can remember. Chief constables have been under pressure to recruit more specials for decades and every cunning plan has bee adopted, including implying that it improves a person's chance of being recruited to a police force as a PC.