Residents of Pimlico in Westminster will probably remember Kit Malthouse as the Tory Deputy Leader of Westminster Council who agreed to reducing the amount Dame Shirley Porter should have payed for her part in the “Homes for Votes” fraud and gerrymandering scandal from £42 million to just £12.3 million. It still took the Tesco Heiress until 2004 to cough up, after first fleeing to Israel.
So it may have seemed surprising that Boris Johnson chose someone so lenient towards criminal behaviour to become his Deputy Mayor in charge of Policing. Is it at all possible that there was a deeper agenda here???
2008 – Kit and Boris engineer the ousting of Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. In response to Blair’s offer to stay on until a suitable candidate is found, the national press reports that he was told not to bother, as;
We don’t want a successor appointed. We will have an acting arrangement until a Conservative Home Secretary arrives.
2009 – Step forward Sir Paul Stephenson, manfully into the breach, who must not have got the message because less than a year later he and Sir Hugh Orde, President of ACPO are publicly complaining of political interference and the politicisation of the police, specifically The Met. Apparently Kit had been boasting to hacks that London Conservatives now had their “hands on the tiller” of The Metropolitan Police Service.
2011 – After a decent interval, and in no way connected to the quote above, the Conservative Home Secretary appoints Bernard Hogan-Howe as Met Commissioner. Transparent eh? Still, Sir Paul got the top pension, so no hard feelings.
This makes for three Commissioners in four years, an unprecedented turnover in what is not only Britain’s largest Police Service, but also a key post in UK Counter Terrorism. Anyone notice 2012 coming up? Olympics? Diamond Jubilee? Anyone??? Bernard, do you feel safe in the hot seat?
We can all agree at least, that the past four years have been very interesting times for The Service:
April 2009 – G20 Protests. Ian Tomlinson unlawfully killed. Boris describes press coverage as “an orgy of cop bashing”. The trial of PC Simon Harwood for manslaughter will begin on June 13th 2012.
2010 – Anti fees Protests. The Met fail to protect Tory Central Office at Milbank, a predictable target for protesters. Subsequently their tactics lead to accusations of brutality, with further use of the disputed “kettling” tactic. Parliament Square becomes a battleground.
May 2011 – TUC Anti Cuts Demo. 201 arrested, 66 injured, including 31 police. Police arrest the non-violent UK UNCUT protesters at Fortnums, whilst leaving the violent anarchists to have at The Ritz.
2011- The Riots. Neither Johnson nor Malthouse emerge until all is safe. Dozens of police injured, yet eyewitnesses talk of Police reluctance to actually protect life and limb.Would this have been different if the riots had been in Mayfair?
2012 – Twelve officers so far referred to IPCC inalledged racist incidents.
2006 – Ongoing – News International Hacking and Bribery scandal. Both Kit and Boris have been vocal in calling for these investigations to be downgraded. Boris called it “a Labour Plot”.
And now some figures:
- Police numbers 2010 – 33,260 : 2011 – 32,380 DOWN NEARLY ONE THOUSAND
Detection rates for 2010/11 (Home Office figures)
- VIOLENCE AGAINST THE PERSON – London 35% : England & Wales- 44%
- BURGLARY DETECTION RATE – London 11% : E&W – 13%
- ROBBERY DETECTION RATE – London 17% : E&W – 21%
- SEXUAL OFFENCES RATE – London 23% : E&W – 30%