Feeds

Teflon top cop evades justice, responsibility

Menezes Met trial unsatisfactory on all counts

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Comment So the verdict's in. No one police officer - nor any identifiably-small group of police - was to blame for the mistaken shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005. Rather, the entire 30,000-strong Metropolitan force have all been found guilty - and, rather comically, "fined" £175k.

Needless to say, London plods won't be chipping in to pay the fine and associated legal costs. Rather, the money will come mainly from London taxpayers - which is ironic, as working Londoners are the very group which the Met have been found guilty of endangering.

One might argue that council and national taxes won't increase as a result of this, which is true enough. From that viewpoint, then, Londoners will lose some policing that the £0.56m+ Met bill for this could have bought.

So, essentially, we Londoners have been punished because some policemen messed up. Thanks a lot, legal system.

Should the plods have pled guilty? A lot of people are saying so, including some senior Met figures if you believe the Guardian. It would surely have minimised the cost to the taxpayers. One might argue that the trial has usefully brought out the facts of the case, but word has it that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will soon release its full report anyway, and there is a public inquest set for next year too. Not to mention de Menezes' family, who are apparently to mount a civil lawsuit.

Some people, including Red Ken the people's mayor, reckon the verdict will paralyse the armed plods in future - they'll never dare to shoot, runs the reasoning, in case there's another trial like this one.

"I think this is disastrous," said Ken.

"If an armed police officer believes they are in pursuit of a terrorist who might be a suicide bomber and they start making these sort of calculations based on this, how is this going to be seen? Am I going to be hauled off to court?"

Given that the officers who shot de Menezes have suffered absolutely no consequences from this trial - indeed, were not "hauled off to court" even to testify - that seems pretty silly.

Indeed, nobody is really suggesting that armed coppers believing themselves to be sharing a crowded Tube carriage with an identified suicide bomber - as the officers in question had been told they were - could really do anything other than shoot the suspect in the head as fast as possible, and keep shooting until they were sure he wouldn't so much as twitch ever again.

Birmingham tac-plods who chose in a similar situation to put 20,000 volts of Taser shock into their suspect's torso area must have been horrifyingly ignorant of explosives. Most terrorist bombs are triggered electrically, and it's standard bomb-disposal practice to minimise even quite minor risks like radio transmissions around them. Firing a kilovolt stun current into direct contact with a suspected bomb verges on criminal lunacy.

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.