Metropolitan Police criticised for what they are “putting the victims through” in court battles

Jenny Jones of the London Assembly this week heavily criticised the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe over the Met’s handling of this case and the entire issue. The following points of her criticism are worth noting:

The commissioner constantly assures the people elected to scrutinise him that he wants as much transparency on this issue as possible, but he is paying his lawyers to act otherwise. The only opaqueness in this is created by him.

I should like to see a resolution which would give the public confidence and end the confusion. The commissioner should make clear that what has happened was a breach of policy and law, he should say sorry and stop putting the victims through this court case. He should tell the public they can and should expect better in the future from the police. He should stop using thousands of pounds of public money to pay for a QC, junior barrister and a team of solicitors to fight this case.

The full article can be found here.


Failures and frailty: initial responses and questions over Hogan-Howe comments

Following on from Bernard Hogan-Howe’s statement and comments, as we published earlier today, the solicitor for this case has made a response comment, and we want to raise some questions over what Hogan-Howe has said.

First of all, below is an extract of what we think we can hear in the video (note that this is not an official transcript).

Jenny Jones AM: The Mayor has said several times that sexual relationships should not occur in an undercover project.

Hogan-Howe: I also said at the same time, which has been misrepresented by a certain journalist, which was that when I acknowledged that human behaviour means you cannot prevent this, this is human behaviour and that I was saying this is what the boys do. I was not saying that at all. I was just saying that any policy cannot prevent human beings sometimes failing. What we need to know is if that should happen, an individual does have some sexual activity, that their manager knows and we react to that.

That is all I have ever said. Our policy is we should never send out people with this as part of our strategy. Does human behaviour sometimes allow this sort of thing to happen? Possible, but what we need is transparency when it happens. The individual involved lets us know and we deal with it as a problem, but do not condemn.

Response comment from Harriet Wistrich:

Solicitor Harriet Wistrich, who is representing the eight women in this legal action, said:

“To say rules cannot prevent ‘human beings failing’ is ridiculous. The best way of enforcing rules about not permitting officers to have sex is to make it an immediate offence of gross misconduct – that would send a clear message to any officers that if they experience such failures of human frailty, they will face the consequences, which might in turn strengthen their resolve to comply with the policy.”

Questions we are asking:

Here are just a few questions which we are asking, relating to one key comment from Hogan-Howe, relating to what he says should happen:

The individual involved lets us know and we deal with it as a problem, but do not condemn.

What does this mean? Is he saying they do not condemn the men for having feelings? What then do they do about the behaviour? Do those whom an officer should ‘let know’ have any understanding of the nature of the abuse they are hearing about? How do they deal with it? What are they doing to prevent members of the public from being ‘condemned’ to having their lives and bodies abused?

And a key question that we are asking, as we study these comments from such a senior law enforcement officer: Does he not know how you enforce rules for human frailty when it causes serious harm to others?


Hogan-Howe falls short

Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, yesterday spoke at the London Assembly, answering questions over undercover officers having sex with targets and members of the public. You can see the video here.

His comments and attitude fall well short of the assurances we are seeking over current practices.

To reiterate: “We call for a clear and unambiguous statement that the abuse has ceased, and will never, in any circumstances, be permitted.” – see Where We Stand.

Hogan-Howe’s comments are not the statement we are calling for. It was not the reassurance that the public is owed. Far from it.


Note: The eight women bringing this legal action are doing so to highlight and prevent the continuation of psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of campaigners and others by undercover police officers.


Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by A.N.

Up ↑