METROPOLITAN Police high-ups look like they are out to dump the blame for the force’s violent treatment of G20 protesters on the lower ranks.
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The Met has come under scrutiny following the death of Ian Tomlinson and the injuries to many other protesters at the 1 April demo, apparently caused by police attacks, some of which were caught on video.
A new Met report into the police violence exonerates senior grades, who, it says, told their officers to remain “calm and restrained” and to operate “professionally”.
Met chiefs have said they plan to discipline individual officers found guilty of breaking the rules, but have insisted the operation was a success, overall.
The media are blamed for heightening tension with “exaggerated” reports in the run up to the events of 1 April, but it was the Met itself which codenamed plans for the day Operation Glencoe, after a notorious massacre from 1692.
Leading officers also claimed there was an “almost unprecedented level of activity” before the G20 protests and said they were “up for it” should demonstrators turn violent.
Compiled by Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, the man in charge of Operation Glencoe, the report also says supervisors were told to check everyone had their police numbers clearly visible.
On the day, many officers hid numbers in full view of their bosses, presumably in the hope of avoiding identification.
Today, Acting Deputy Commissioner Tim Goodwin goes before the Metropolitan Police Authority, chaired by London Mayor Boris Johnson, and is likely to field tough questions on his force’s tactics at the G20.
Allison’s report will be part of Goodwin’s presentation, but is separate from the on-going inquiry into Tomlinson’s death by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.