LondonNet News Headlines
05/10/04
London's Top Cop Named
- Ian Blair to replace John Stevens as Met Police Commissioner

SURREY'S FORMER Chief Constable Ian Blair has been named as the next Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

Blair (no relation to Prime Minister Tony), 51, was pipped to the same post by incumbent Commissioner Sir John Stevens back in 1999. He has acted as Stevens's deputy since 2000.

Thanks to his Oxford education and progressive attitude to the MacPherson report and other police reforms, the new Yard boss has garnered a reputation as the 'thinking man's cop'.

But while Blair has rallied against the 'barrack room' behaviour of some fellow cops, which he says foster racist and sexist attitudes, he himself ran into trouble in 2002 for saying that most muggers were black. That statistically ill-informed comment generated a terse response from the National Black Police Association who said his comments could deter black recruits.

One of Blair's major challenges will be marshalling the capital's 30,000 police officers to face the threat of international terrorism. The immediacy of which was summed up by outgoing Commissioner Stevens when he said it was more a matter of 'when not if' in terms of the prospect of a major attack.




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