The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) just keeps letting them get away with it:
The investigation found that an off-duty Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), who was on his way to work, saw the man filming on the DLR on two consecutive days. On the second day, 29 July 2009, he telephoned the Safer Transport Team at Woolwich police station to report what he had seen. The Police Constable (PC) who answered the call went to the scene. In interview, he explained that, based on the information given to him by the PCSO, he had suspicions that the man may be involved in terrorist activity, undertaking hostile reconnaissance. He therefore decided to stop and search him.
The IPCC believes that the officer had a justified reason to stop and search the man.
The PCSO checked the footage on the man’s mobile phones. It contained planes taking off, more planes at London City Airport and the airport’s runway as well as footage taken on the DLR. The PC found some USB computer memory sticks and a CD in his bag. The PC remained suspicious and sought advice from the Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) of the Metropolitan Police Service.
Again, the IPCC understands why the PC was suspicious and believes seeking guidance from a specialist unit was a sensible way to proceed.
The CTC instructed the officer not to arrest the man, but to ask for his consent to being photographed and ask him to face CCTV cameras. He was instructed to seize mobile phones and computer equipment to be examined by experts from the Counter Terrorism Command. An officer from the CTC then contacted CCTV Operators at Woolwich Police Station and requested they record what was happening. The man agreed to be photographed and cooperated fully when his property was seized. Intelligence checks were carried out, but no prior intelligence was found.
Just anyone could be a terrorist. Anyone. The police are convinced of it. I can’t help but remember the time I was stopped by the Met in Tower Hamlets whilst entirely lawfully photographing the Canary Wharf towers. After the officer who took my name and checked my details took me to one side and admitted they’d only stopped me to balance out the racial stop and search figures, he actually encouraged me to go to City Airport and photograph the planes taking off and landing. From this IPCC report they’d then have had cause to treat me as a terrorist suspect and seize my equipment (just as I suspected at the time).
The Home Affairs Select Committee has only just realised that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) fails in its function because it has a habit of hiring former police officers:
A committee of MPs said it was shocked that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) routinely employed former police officers as investigators.
“Public confidence in the impartiality of the IPCC is bound to be damaged by these practices,” said the report. “We are shocked that this situation has been allowed to develop and recommend that steps are taken to prevent this occurring and to remove any hint of impropriety.”
The criticism will sting the IPCC whose current head of investigations was himself the subject of criticism in its reports into the Stockwell shooting.Moir Stewart, a former Scotland Yard commander, was said by the IPCC to have made an error of judgment in 2005 when he failed to pass crucial information about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes to Sir Ian Blair, the then Met Commissioner. Mr Stewart was appointed to the post of director of investigations at the IPCC last year.
The entire IPCC is a con. Justice for de Menezes? Ian Tomlinson? It’s absurd that this should be true at all:
The committee found that in 99 cases out of 100, and despite the existence of an independent, statutory body, complaints made against police behaviour will be investigated by the police. They also highlighted concerns that using ex-police officers to investigate complaints to the IPCC brought into question its impartiality, adding that “a ‘postcode lottery’ currently exists in the police’s handling of complaints”.
Current committee chairman Keith Vaz MP has called for a future committee to push for serious reform of the commission. Don’t expect that to happen any time soon though, it is after all only ever likely to be as truly independent as the ISA.
The Metropolitan Police is still abusing section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000:
Two police officers are under investigation after using anti-terror stop-and-search powers against a man and two young children in a south London street.
The 43-year-old man had his mobile phones, USB sticks and a CD seized by the officers, who were in plain clothes, and was asked to stand in front of a CCTV camera in order to have his photograph taken. The undercover Metropolitan police officers also took the man’s photograph with their own camera and searched the two children he was walking with – his 11-year-old daughter and his neighbour’s daughter, aged six.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said todayit would “manage” the investigation into the incident in July, meaning that an independent investigator will control the inquiry conducted by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.
It is unusual for the IPCC to manage an investigation into an incident of this kind, and the decision comes amid mounting concern over police use of stop-and-search and surveillance powers. The commission has received dozens of complaints relating to the use of stop-and-search powers, but the nature of this complaint is understood to have concerned investigators.
Jonathan Warren points to the Terrorism Act 2000, and proves this search was unlawful. I wonder if the IPCC will recommend charges be brought against the undercover officers or just hope that as with the Gemma Atkinson arrest, the initial outrage will die down and they can kick the complaint into the long grass!