IPCC report in to Stockwell shooting leaves more questions than answers

The report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission is clearly very thorough and I don't doubt for one moment the honesty of the results. However, the response from the Metropolitan Police and in particular Sir Ian Blair leaves a lot to be desired.

The report makes clear that when Sir Ian Blair was making statements to the press after the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, he did not tell any lies. Sir Ian Blair made much in his statement about how he had been shown to be proved right about this. However, the fact that he told no lies was down to the fact that Sir Ian was "completely in the dark and had not been informed".

This is an astonishing thing to say about the Chief Constable in such a serious case. Why do his colleagues so distrust him that they do not give him the full information when an innocent man has been shot by police ?

The conduct or Andy Hayman, someone I had little time for when he presided over the Norfolk Constabulary when in many local people's views, rural policing declined in the county, should be of the most concern. His errors were singled out by the IPCC in particular.

They highlighted inconsistencies between what Mr Hayman had told the special group of crime reporters' briefing and a Metropolitan police authority management meeting on the day of the shooting. These meetings were apparently less than one hour apart yet he gave completely different accounts to the press and the Metropolitan Police themselves.

The IPCC said Mr Hayman had advised the reporters that the dead man had not been one of four attempted bombers. However, he then told the Metropolitan Police that the press were running stories about Mr de Menezes being an innocent man and that a suitable statement had to be issued to deny this. He failed to tell the Metropolitan Police Authority that he was the person who had told the press in the first place just one hour before. He then oversaw the issuing of a press release on the same afternoon, saying that it had not been clear whether Mr de Menezes he had been one of the four 21/7 bombers.

"He could not have believed both inconsistent statements were true," the IPCC said.

Mr Hayman's fate now lies in the hands of the Metropolitan Police Authority, the very same Authority he misled in the wake of the shooting. Sir Ian Blair said he did not want to pre-empt their decision, but then bizarrely gave Mr Hayman his full backing.

It seems absolutely sickening that a policeman who misled his own constabulary and as was stated by IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik, Hayman was the man who made sure information had been "deliberately withheld" from Sir Ian.

What odds would you get on Mr Hayman receiving a slap on the wrists and nothing else is heard ? Another police cover up would serve nobody well in this case.

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