Oh dear, oh dear, already the finger of blame for the London riots is being twirled around ready to settle, and it's looking as though it will settle on the Met!
I always find the blame culture fascinating -- point to someone else and people's attention moves to where the finger is pointing and away from you.
It's not the Met's fault that anarchy and looting took place on the streets of the London. Let's praise our brave, hard working police officers for turning up three nights in a row, ready to face the dangerous and unexpected. We owe them a lot.
Now though, the media is full of interviews and political commentary, saying that the 'police must stop holding back,' to quote today's Times. But London's police officers are dammed if they do and dammed if they don't.
When the disturbances began in Medway on Monday night, the first conversation I had with the Chief Constable was very straight forward. I told him that he was to use his professional judgement in deciding which policing methods to use to keep the people, businesses and communities of Kent safe, as long as they were lawful, appropriate and proportionate. He was told that he had my 100 per cent support.
My support for the Chief Constable and his officers is given because it is the right and proper thing to do and I didn't give it looking over my shoulder to see how it would pan out politically. The Chief Constable also knows, because I told him, that if something untoward should happen I would be standing shoulder to shoulder with him in the fallout and taking responsibility as well.
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