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Police pay compensation after calling teenage photographer “stupid” and “gay”

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  1. Pigs don’t know when to stop. After killing Jean Charles Demenzies and getting away with they think they can do what they want

    1. Pigs? Really grown up way to enter the debate about confidence and ability of the police …

      Likely to have a great deal of impact which improves the service we receive and the safety of the community …

      Perhaps it would be better if we engaged construcively with the police and educated them …

      There are some very good police officers out there – but getting good service should not depends on having the right officer respond to you …

      The police are an essential element of a democratic and safe society, lets ensure they do their job fairly, appropriately and responsibly …

      Unless, all you want to do is shout abuse … perhaps thats it …

      1. Spanner1960 13 Dec 2011, 3:45pm

        And a police inspector calling somebody “silly and gay” when they don’t even know the law is not abusive?

        This is totally out of order.

        1. I dont justify what the police inspector did in the slightest …

          I dont think that name calling against the police is a constructive response to it …

          1. Why shouldn’t we call the police names they are people just like the rest of us and we call each other every name under the sun, I think being called pigs is getting off lightly.

          2. @Hamish

            Well, I try not to call other people names … especially not with malice behind it …

            I just find that is a more friendly and humane approach to life

            I fail from time to time, and am happy to be criticised for it … but its something I think that is unnecessary especially where malice is involved.

          3. de Villiers 13 Dec 2011, 10:25pm

            > Why shouldn’t we call the police names they are people just like the rest of us and we call each other every name under the sun, I think being called pigs is getting off lightly.

            You might call people every name under the sun. Not all of us do that.

          4. I’ve seen the arguments on here and you have all offered a nasty name or two to bigots, why shouldn’t we call the police a name or two when they have been bigots?

          5. @Hamish

            Well …

            Firstly, I have already accepted that I make mistakes (see my comment above). I would accept that on occasions I have been intemperent in what I say and regret many of those occasions.

            Secondly, there is (I perceive) a difference between intemperent comments in the midst of debate and villification (thinking of comments from Keith etc) and reflecting in hindsight and labelling an entire profession or group of people with an offensive name. Neither is good, one is premeditated.

            Thirdly, whilst you recognise the difference between those bad officers who behave inappropriately (whether in isolated incidents or regularly) others on this thread seem to suggest that all police officers are the same. Its simply not true.

            Fourthly, surely we want a police service that meets our needs in society. We will not achieve that if we barrack and heckle and do not engage constructively to help achieve that.

          6. I agree it is probably offensive to call them pigs or filth, however the police force should be working to change this view of itself, we shouldn’t have to force them to.

            When I stop seeing unnecessary use of force and the bullying tactics currently used by the police then I will believe that they want to genuinely serve the people, however at the moment they seem alot like hired thugs used to quell free speech, forgive us if we seem to resent this but could you blame us?

          7. @Hamish

            I don’t blame anyone resenting the fact that some police behave improperly.

            Having also experienced poor service from the police, I am not enamoured by them – but equally I am aware of the essential nature of their role. If you have an emergency involving crime or road accident etc – who do you call? There isn’t a choice, the police are the service that is required in those circumstances. We therefore have an interest in ensuring that they deliver the service we need and want and whilst I am not suggesting or encouraging people to “like” the police as they are,I do not feel that the aim of having a service we require deliver in the best way possible is achieved by name calling (from whichever side).

            I am also a realist and recognise the nature of the police has an aspect which is unlike many other services. Their service is not about (in all cases) delivering what the public demand, its about maintaining peace, preventing and detecting crime and enhancing public safety

          8. de Villiers 15 Dec 2011, 8:34am

            Hamish: Generally, I’ve offered no nasty names to bigots. I attack the arguments and the behaviour. However, even where I have done otherwise, I avoid gratuitous insults. Calling officers of the state “pigs” shows a complete absence of respect for the country or its institutions.

    2. I was told by a met police officer to alter my lifestyle and be more discreet for being homophobically harassed and attacked. On a later incident , when that police officer left the post and a female met officer replaced him, i was trying to get a list of crime ref numbers i had , due to ongoing homophobia perpetrated against me. I kept phoning week after week to request the same info, but was rebuffed . On one occasion i phoned her number, a colleague picked up and i could hear her sighing and mumbling at the other end when i was asking to speak to her. Eventually i did get the full list sent after she was moved to alternative position. So i have no faith in the met police to deal with homophobia . And after the debacle of the london riots and what led there, i’m shocked some londoners have confidence in the force.

      1. @rapture

        I dont have confidence in the MPS, but I do have confidence in some MPS officers …

        My experience of the MPS responding to homophobic issues is occasionally very good, usually shameful …

      2. Try phoning next time using a different phone.
        The Police red flag and block problem callers.

        1. Are you speaking as a met police officer? In your limited capacity, it is a problem for a met police officer , a public servant to take a call from the puplic relating to info of a crime against said person. Makes sense why so many hate crimes are under reported to the net and the general puplic distrust the police If they refuse to cooperate with said incidents. You have actually made the met police actually sound worse than many of us were already aware.

        2. @Anon

          If you have evidence of this then I suggest that you provide it to the IPCC, as it would be a neglect of duty (police disciplinary offence) and misconduct in a public office (criminal offence) to refuse to deal with a 999 call or request for help from the public – recently a PC from the Met was convicted of misconduct in a public office following not dealing with a number of 999 calls.

    3. As an out gay police officer I’m amazed that this offensive posting has been left on. I may be gay but I’m certainly not a PIG! It’s sad that like all gay people I’ve had to put up with abuse over many years. I’m 50 by the way and so was around when homophobia was worse than it is now. However, it’s also sad that I get referred to as a PIG by some bigot!!

      1. @Tim

        As a gay man and former police officer I also think the use of the word PIG is wrong for three reasons … firstly, the bad experiences that some have had (including me) from the police are not the experience all officers give (so lets not tar all with the same brush) … seondly, even if it was targetted at an unhelpful or arguably homophobic officer – one form of abuse/prejudice/bigotry does not justify another … thirdly, its neither clever nor does it resolve the distrust between some in the LGBT communities with the police by resorting to abuse … surely the solution is constructive engagement from both sides …

        Thanks for the valuable, difficult and challenging job you do … sometimes even harder for being gay from issues you face from the LGBT communities and sometimes in the job too.

        1. As you two gentleman know. It varies from officer to officer. Most of the policemen and women I know are lovely. And if I wasn’t such a debauched individual, I would have married one by now.

    4. Jock S. Trap 19 Dec 2011, 10:11am

      A very immature response there James! I gotta say.

  2. Worst police force in the country by a long way. They don’t have an ounce of respect for anyone in the city they patrol, they show that constantly.

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Dec 2011, 1:09pm

      Actually I’ve heard much worse to which the Metropolitan Police seem like one of the best. We shouldn’t take a couple of bad officers to meaning all as most are good, respectful police officers.

    2. From the research and my own personal experience recently, I would say the MPS was far from the best but certainly not the worst …

      One of the issues of the MPS is the vast size of it and thus distinct lack of consistency in their approach to LGBT matters …

    3. @David – nonsense. I work somewhat with the Met and they (in general) are pretty gay friendly and liberal. Perhaps you could let us know how you’ve reached your rather extreme view – do you for example know how many Police forces there are in the country? do you have experience of them all? – or – are you mouthing off with no real basis?

      1. “I work somewhat with the Met and they (in general) are pretty gay friendly and liberal.”

        Funny you get upset with generalisations when you utter this line as some kind of proof?

        1. de Villiers 15 Dec 2011, 8:36am

          There’s nothing wrong with Andrew stating his experiences.

  3. Leigh Hamilton 13 Dec 2011, 12:01pm

    It seems all the other forces in the country send their worst officers to the Met.

    1. Dan Filson 13 Dec 2011, 1:44pm

      That presumes a degree of movement between forces, and in particular from outside London into the Met, but I doubt how widespread that is. I also doubt there is any concerted move to send worst officers anywhere except, say, the transport pool.

  4. I am thankful that I don’t live under the Met’s policing. They have an awful reputation and from listening to the recorded conversation that Jules Mattsson made, it was obvious the officer involved was well out of his depth. he either didn’t know the law involved or willfully chose to ignore it.

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Dec 2011, 1:13pm

      Whereas I am glad I do live under the Met’s policing as I have been told some area’s outside London don’t actually take homophobic crime seriously which makes London and the Met one of the best.

      Lets not judge all officer on these very few bad apples.

    2. Dan Filson 13 Dec 2011, 1:47pm

      Reputations can be quite wrong. I certainly thought very poorly of the Met in the 1980s when almost all officers I canvassed or spoke to held racist, sexist and probably, had I asked, homophobic views, and suffered from bunker or siege mentality (“it’s us against the world”). In the last 30 years there has been a considerable transformation starting top-down with Sir Paul Condon and many of his successors, and the realisation that policing only works with the support, cooperation and participation of the community.

      1. @Dan

        Nationally (not just the Met) there has been a transformation of the police service in terms of awareness of the entire community (including the need to treat people as individuals – and not everybody should be treated the same (one of the lessons of the Lawrence inquiry)). Some services have succeeded to embed this approach better than others. There are some police services and some police officers that tackle homophobia very well – as an organisation, the MPS is not one of the best – although some individual officers are great. As a service, the MPS tends to be better than most on domestic violence … but it needs to get its consistency correct for all issues connected with concerns regarding protected characteristics.

        1. I was subjected to homophobia by a desk sergeant at Islington police station 10 years ago when I reported a homophobic assault on me. Islington police connived with the CPS to get the defendant off despite my photographs of the extensive bruising. GALOP were useless and I was left with an extremely bad taste in my mouth regarding the filth. I’m afraid you’re wrong Stu: it is entirely correct to call the filth ‘pigs.’

          1. @Jamesh

            I have equally seen good and bad practice in the police.

            I have experienced good and bad practice in the police as a victim of crime or witness (or supporter of someone who sought an advocate)

            I have (when I was in the police) given great service to members of the public (with testimonials from them to show it) AND (it shames me to add) have given less than satisfactory service to some (but we are all human – and when identified I endeavoured to put it right – none of the cases where I could have performed better related to race, LGBT etc).

            So calling all police ineffective, pigs or anything else is unfair, patronising and doesnt gain anything.

            The officers you dealt with maybe, but not all … Thats like saying all gay men are scene queens – not true …

          2. de Villiers 15 Dec 2011, 8:38am

            By the same token, every heterosexual who is dealt with badly by someone who is gay should be able to use appalling homosexual insults.

  5. I hope this police inspector gets the sack! Not only has he shown discrimination and a lack of repect, he seems to be out of touch with british law.

    1. He certainly should be disciplined regarding diversity issues, incivility and bringing the force into disrepute …

      1. Spanner1960 14 Dec 2011, 6:50am

        The insulting behaviour is only a minimal part of this; Everyone seems to be getting het up about the fact the kid was called gay, when the real point of this matter was the fact they prevented somebody taking photographs, tried to take the camera and then arrested the boy on some daft, trumped-up charge.

        1. …. first of all you do not arrest someone on “charges”, you arrest on suspicion …

          … secondly, if the arrest was unlawful (which it may be) then do you not think this brings the force into disrepute …

          … if there is the evidence to prove it then consideration to disciplinary action for other issues such as abuse of authority etc should also be made

    2. Jock S. Trap 13 Dec 2011, 1:16pm

      Or at the very least demoted and retrained for the street bobbys, prehaps. Get him to know how to deal with the public.

  6. ‘lack of respect’ sorry

  7. £4,000 for ‘hurt feelings’ – far too much.

    1. That’s great, but who cares what you think, no one really listen too much to bigots who post anonymously on gay sites. Its kind of seen as pathetic and weak minded, you know?

      1. I agree, much too much – and dispute absolutely that I am bigotted, weak minded or indeed anonymous.
        This is more “compensation” than you would be paid in a magistates court for a punch in the face.

        1. “and dispute absolutely that I am bigotted, weak minded or indeed anonymous.”

          What part of “anonymous” did you get confused about when you posted under “Andrew”, hmmm?

    2. Arguably for unlawful arrest as opposed to so called “hurt feelings”

      Police should behave responsibly and professionally not resorting to name calling or discriminatory phraseology. They should also respect a free press (within legitimate limits) and enforce the law appropriately not exceeding their limits …

      Strange how trolls see this as “hurt feelings” – its an abuse of power …

    3. Spanner1960 13 Dec 2011, 3:51pm

      Four grand is a piss in a bucket.
      This was an out of court settlement, and personally I would have demanded a lot more.
      It was not just personal abuse and insults, but manhandling, (assault), theft of property and wrongful arrest: If I had my way I would screw the cops for every cent, and then they might learn to use the law to start protecting people, and not make stuff up as they go along.

  8. Neal, he was wrongfully arrested and I quote “When he refused to stop taking pictures and recording his conversation with police, he was arrested for breaching the peace.”
    Therefore I feel he is perfectly entitled to £4000

    1. No – £4,000 is much too much.
      Don’t forget, it is our money being used for this compensation. Maybe next time you need a Police presence they cannot turn up because the need to save £4,000.

      1. “Maybe next time you need a Police presence they cannot turn up because the need to save £4,000.”

        Is that the best you can come up with as a reason for not compensating??? LOL! What was hat earlier you said about being “absolutely” not small minded? What a clever man you are.

      2. Then if they behave properly, their budget won’t be reduced …

        Lesson for the police service -= behave professionally …

      3. Sister Mary Clarence 13 Dec 2011, 5:35pm

        Andrew, it makes it £4000.00 more likely that the same sort of thing won’t happen again. Someone is having now to account for why the Met has just thrown this money away, and someone else somewhere will no doubt be telling people to be a bit more bloody careful in future

  9. Jock S. Trap 13 Dec 2011, 1:08pm

    Shocking that this has happened in any force but in London… disgusting.

    Sadly that minority will for some speak for the majority even though the majority are good and respectful in their jobs towards others.

  10. Dan Filson 13 Dec 2011, 1:52pm

    I’m a little cautious about commenting judgementally on this case, as it seems unlikely the photographing was being done from the general ranks of the public on the pavement, even if from the front row. It seems more likely it was being done from the street along which the troops were marching; conceivably he was getting too close to them and annoying them. And then when cautioned to not get away, he may have remonstrated and not cooperated. However if the police used inadvisable language it is right the Met apologised and perhaps right it offered compensation. Not all cases where compensation is offered are wholly one-sided, it should be remembered.

    1. Dan Filson 13 Dec 2011, 1:54pm

      Correction : ” … then when cautioned to not get in the way …”

    2. vversatile 13 Dec 2011, 3:53pm

      Wherever he was, he within his legal rights to be there.
      There are so many cases of the Met arresting photographers and citing “terror laws” as their reason. Only to end up with no charges being brought.
      The added homophobia in this case is just the icing on the cake.
      The Met are a national disgrace.

      1. The police don’t actually need the law to be on their side they know that most people don’t know the law and so threaten people with arrest for breaking no actual laws, I know I’ve seen it done on peaceful protests or sometimes just on groups of kids hanging around on the park or something.

        1. @Hamish

          Part of it stems from the old Ways and Means approach … where the police were able to use whatever “Ways and Means” that were appropriate and reasonable …

          Many people are ignorant of the law or police powers – which makes it easy for some officers to use an element of subterfuge in persuading some people not to conduct themselves in a particular manner (whilst on very rare occasions this might be justifiable, in the vast majority of occasions it is not …)

          1. Stu – Yes I agree I know some police don’t, but far to many do

  11. The police are about to get a big kick up the backside!

    I shared ‘all’ of the evidence I’ve compiled over years of working with the Police with regards to hate crime issues and the Murder of Mark Duggan.

    You say not all Police are homophobes? I say 5% are not 40% are and 55% cast a blind eye to homophobia.

  12. the london police force are by far the worst in the whole country

  13. Miguel Sanchez 13 Dec 2011, 3:01pm

    The cop should have been sacked.

  14. Spanner1960 13 Dec 2011, 3:44pm

    As a professional photographer myself, I have been stopped on numerous occasions and been expected to fill in forms. On one occasion it happened three times in one day.

    The police need to learn the law before they start mouthing off at people. The Met’s Chief Inspector claimed this would change, but it is still the same. The next time I am stopped I will complain and refuse information, and if necessary sue for wrongful arrest; this is totally unacceptable and out of order.

  15. Spanner1960 13 Dec 2011, 3:47pm

    Oh, and Romford is not “North East London” – it’s Essex. What the Met were doing there I have no idea.

    1. Oh come on everyone…the police are a bunch of working class thugs made good by 5 GCSE’s…and what little brain power they do posses is ruined due to the nature of the job and constantly surrounded by criminals….Does not take too much to realise – If you hang around criminals you act like criminals ( Not of course if you are intelligent – unfortunately the average officer, well basically – Is not!! Period!

      1. We were in London a few hers ago. On a warm day in May Trafalgar Square had the usual thousands of people, and we took about 100 photographs. Upon leaving we were detained by four police for over an hour on a street corner.
        We were accused of taking to many photos of children…how can you avoid the children chasing the pigeons and climbing on the fountain? Our shoulder sack was searched, passports noted, hotel address taken down, and the photographs deleted by an officer.
        The female officer was quite angry, and didn’t mention the P word, but we were essentially accused of being pedophiles.
        We are two gay men, together for 55 years, and coming to London for 55 years, but I think this will be the last time.
        Advice? If you do go, leave your camera in the hotel.
        BTW, I am an artist and was there to arrange a gallery exhibit of my work. We left for hem the next day.

        1. Oops, that’s to read home, not hem.


          1. Homophobic tw*ts. I always make grunting noises whenever I see the Met these days and pretend I’m blowing my nose :)

          2. @Jamesh

            How old are you?

          3. @Jordy

            I hope you made a complaint about the officers in question.

          4. @Stu

            I’m becoming rather tired of your constant advocacy of the police. Some of us have had bad experiences with the filth. Just accept that and get a life rather than spending all your time on here!

          5. @jamesh

            So you are trying to restrict my free speech, because you don’t like what I say …?

            I have also had bad experiences from the police … and had bad experiences whilst working in the police …

            Not going to stop commenting jsut because you are fed up with it – particularly when some of the comments are the juvenile type that you have made re grunting, which add nothing to the debate …

        2. That’s terrible , london has overall become a very homophobic, conservative city, so i do expect the policing to reflect that close minded , ignorance . Having said that, in this case, i do believe you must be very naive to think it acceptable to take photos of kids whether accidentally or not.

          1. But i agree that the police could have been much more professional in dealing with this episode.

          2. “i do believe you must be very naive to think it acceptable to take photos of kids whether accidentally or not”

            Why? Is this a criminal offense now to accidentally photograph children in a crowded tourist spot?

          3. london has overall become a very homophobic, conservative city

            Compared to what?

          4. @joss Not a crime , but some can view that itcould be used by sinister persons as an insidious method of not drawing attention to their pic collection. It would be best for those who do wish to photograph busy tourist traps to be vigilant when taking photos and avoid any accidental misunderstanding.

        3. Spanner1960 14 Dec 2011, 6:54am

          Advice? Sue for wrongful arrest. Simple as that.
          The police will continue to pull these stunts until they are reprimanded, and the guilty parties demoted or sacked.

          1. My advice would be to make a complaint to the IPCC … or seek independent legal advice …

            It appears the knee jerk reaction of Spanner1960 appears factually wrong … if you are going to complain about something (and it appears that Jordy has good reason to be aggrieved) then complaining about the right thing is important …

            No where is Jordy’s comment is there any suggestion that they were arrested – so making a complaint of unlaw arrest is unlikely to stand … Thats why complaining about conduct to the IPCC or seeking independent legal advice may be more productive … if I was to guess at issues that could be considered there is certainly incivility, possibly unlawful stop and search (depending on how this was explained at the time), possibly other issues … but its diffficult to form that judgement on a thread like this … and I can see no evidence of unlawful arrest from what Jordy says on here (although it may be missing from the tale).

      2. @Tony

        I moved on from the police after almost 7 years …

        However, my team had 2 sergeants and 16 constables (and an inspector who had oversight of us and another team). Every member of the team bar one had a degree. Three had masters.

        Whilst there were some less intelligent officers (some of whom I found an embarrassment) – there were plenty of highly capable and practical officers with common sense.

        Unfortunately, there are some which create a bad image for the service.

        Equally, there will always be an element of bad image because some people do not like what the police legitimately stand for – justice and protecting others.

        1. Spanner1960 13 Dec 2011, 11:14pm

          Just because people have qualifications does not make them intelligent.
          I have known graduates, and even doctors who happen to be some of the most stupid people I know. I also know total geniuses that haven’t got a qualification to their name.

          Don’t judge somebody just by how society perceives them or tries to set a yardstick.

          1. @Spanner1960

            Firstly, my comment was because someone was doing exactly what you accuse me of “judging somebody (police officers) by how (some in) society perceives them …”

            Secondly, I clearly said some people in the police were less intelligent …

            I am aware academic ability does not necessarily make a sensible or intelligent person, and ideally a police officer should be intelligent, practical and sensible …

            To continue responding to Tony and ignoring you barracking … few of the cops I worked with were “yobs” – perhaps one or two exceptions … and very few were working class … not that there is anything wrong with working class (although you imply there is)

          2. Spanner1960 14 Dec 2011, 7:05am

            Please don’t patronise me with your nicely spoken doubletalk; you sound just like a copper. You say things in the most polite way yet manage to also infer veiled threats and menace.

            One of the reasons police don’t like cameras and recorders are incidents such as this. Had the kid not recorded this, it would have been three police officers, (including an inspector), versus a 15yo boy. Which do you think the courts would have believed?

            The recent case of Ian Tomlinson being pushed around at the G20 protests by “enthusiastic” officers, and ultimately dying, again shows that people with cameras can fight back at police not doing their jobs properly, and frankly, they don’t like it.

            Technology is not just for governments and their agencies, it is available to everyone, so they had better get used to the fact it is here to stay and understand that many people are watching the watchers.

          3. @Spanner1960

            If you don’t want to have comments come back at you, dont make ridiculous comments like the one I responded to.

            Just because you (like many) do not like the police does not mean that you should berate every comment someone makes that might support some of the police.

            I am pleased you find my comments nicely spoken. There is no “doubletalk” in what I say. I say it as I see it – and if you don’t like that engage in reasoned debate – rather than some of the ridiculous commentary you have made. Now thats not saying some of your comments have been reasonable – some have … but some are baseless, inaccurate and laughable.

            As for cameras etc, sure many police officers do not like them – some step over the mark in terms of enforcement, many grit their teeth and ignore them … some people who use them deliberately provoke the police (and most police genuinely do not rise to the provocation).

          4. @Spanner1960

            I am all for rooting out and dealing with the police who act inappropriately …

            I also recognise policing is a difficult but essential job and one that, by its nature, will bring people into conflict with the police …

            I am not going to defend the actions which led to Tomlinsons death – partly because there is an ongoing criminal case – clearly there is a case to answer, and clearly there are lessons that can be learned. I hope the jury reach the right conclusion and that if the officer concerned was not justified in his actions that an appropriate penalty is enforced by the court.

            Sometimes the police get things wrong. Polciing (particularly crowd control) can sometimes be very easy, but can change in a millisecond and difficult decisions have to be made which balance rights of various sections of the community, in a split second, and often the police decision on review independently is right or almost right (with hindsight). Sometimes it is not.

          5. There are more cases of police officers being assaulted and injured in large scale disturbances than there are of people making allegations of excessive force or assault by police (generally).

          6. Spanner1960 14 Dec 2011, 10:08pm

            That’s good, wheel out the old “lessons must be learned” cliché every time somebodyt screws up. The lessons that need to be learned are the ones the cadets attend at Hendon academy, instead of making up crap as they go along.

            I have no problem with the police in the main, and in fact two of my best friends are (gay) Detective sergeants; however, it is about time that these people realised that they are not the law, they are there only to enforce it, and they are certainly not above it, which means they have to be squeaky clean or the rest of society will want to know why. I appreciate the problems of dynamic risk assessment, but to have three officers pounce on some kid with a camera is just complete overkill and a total abuse of power.

          7. @{Spanner1960

            Where did I say lessons need to be learned …

            I didnt, but that is part of the solution …

            Some of it also needs to be dealt with by dealing with officers who behave inappropriately …

            Nationally there are something like 150000 police officers and more police staff – it is likely some will make errors, some deliberately. Its important for public confidence that these are dealt with robustly. Unfortunately, that is not happening often enough.

            What is clear, is that this is not the approach of the majority of officers. Although many seem keen to allow such an impression to be formed.

          8. Spanner1960 15 Dec 2011, 1:19pm

            @ Stu:

            Stu 14 Dec 2011, 9:45am: “I am not going to defend the actions which led to Tomlinsons death – partly because there is an ongoing criminal case – clearly there is a case to answer, and clearly there are lessons that can be learned.”

            “it is likely some will make errors, some deliberately.”
            People do not make errors deliberately. You either make a mistake or you do something premeditated. For an ex-copper, you don’t half come up with some guff sometimes Stu. Or has nobody told you the difference between manslaughter and murder?

            Lessons have obviously not been learned.

          9. @Spanner1960

            For someone who complains about patronising not being appropriate, then you do a damn good job of it yourself.

            I am not going to comment on the Tomlinson case as it is sub-judice

            The case has not been addressed fully, so any answers to be learned from this specific case can not be fully addressed. Nonetheless, the fact the MPS have adapted their public order strategies numerous times demonstrates to me a willingness to try and learn lessons.

            Manslaughter and murder I am more than conversant with the difference, would you like a lesson – it can be arranged …

            People do deliberately commit errors in process. Now that doesnt make them a mistake but a deliberate error. If a police officer does this then its misconduct or criminal.

            From the OED:
            de·lib·er·ate • adj. / diˈlibərit/ done consciously and intentionally: a deliberate error. ∎ fully considered; not impulsive: a deliberate decision.

    2. Romford is part of Greater London and comes under The London borough of Havering which is served by The Met.

  16. Helen Wilson 13 Dec 2011, 6:34pm

    The Met are the most corrupt and brutal force in the country, its time to close the met down and have several smaller more publicly accountable forces across London.

  17. They cannot be worse than Cornwall.

  18. PinkPolitico 14 Dec 2011, 12:01am

    The headline in this story is somewhat misleading. The police (rightly) apologised for interfering with press freedom but where is the apology for the homophobic slur and how are members of the gay community in London expected to have full confidence in the police when such casual bigotry is expressed by one of their members? As a gay man, I certainly would not want to encounter this particular officer if I was the victim of a homophobic attack. At the very least, he should be suspended and required to make a personal apology not just to his young victim but also to the gay community. Had the remark been of a racist nature, he would have been sacked immediately. Yet again, a double standard is applied when homophobia is involved. And those in authority must be held to a particularly high standard which makes the bigotry of this officer all the more shocking and unacceptable.

    1. Spanner1960 14 Dec 2011, 7:13am

      Oh please, get a friggin’ life.
      Just because he called the kid “gay” did not infer a homophobic slur. The fact he also used the word “silly” shows to me that the man was trying to use vernacular that the youngster would understand. I agree what he did was wrong, but get some perspective on the matter – the real heart of this was that the officers overstepped the mark both in their duties and their methods.

      I appreciate none of us like the term ‘gay’ used in a derogatory tone, but whether you like it or not, it has entered the English language and is used a lot, although a lot of people frown upon it and try to show kids the error of their ways.

      1. So you wouldnt want to challenge incivility in the police?

        Surprises me somewhat …

        1. Spanner1960 14 Dec 2011, 10:11pm

          I did not deny that there was incivility. All I said was this was not inherently homophobic. The man should have certainly been more polite, and his choice of words were even worse, but ultimately, I think he was just trying to demean the lad rather than accuse him of being homosexual.

      2. Whether this man is truly homophobic or not is irrelevant – he still perpetuated the idea that being gay is a negative thing. Someone may not be inherently racist, but that doesn’t mean they get a free pass to make a casual racist remark.

        1. Spanner1960 15 Dec 2011, 8:41am

          I have not said what the man said was wrong, but merely trying to get a bit of perspective here: There was some major infringement of liberties going on here and all people can moan about is *that* word again.

          1. Quote: “Just because he called the kid “gay” did not infer a homophobic slur. The fact he also used the word “silly” shows to me that the man was trying to use vernacular that the youngster would understand.”

            It even feels like you are trying to come up with an excuse for this police officer. I’m sorry but no, there is none.

            Had there been no usage of the word “gay” in this news, it would have never made its way here because, newsflash: this is a site devoted to news pertaining to the gay community and any attack on it will be reported as such. This coming from law enforcement makes it relevant enough.

            I am not saying that his censorship “attack” should be ignored – every one of his actions should be harshly condemned.

          2. Spanner1960 18 Dec 2011, 5:05pm

            This is a big news story for me primarily because I am a professional photographer. The fact the kid was called gay is frankly a piddling little aside in my opinion. You may not be aware of it but over 200 photographers demonstrated last year to complain about this very matter; I was one of them. If the police are allowed to continue to free-run and arrest people on trumped-up charges, it will eventually affect everyone, and usually it is the minorities who feel it first, so don’t say you haven’t been warned.

          3. @Spanner1960

            You certainly have some very good points …

            But I suspect, you would not necessarily be the most balanced person to seek an opinion about on this issue …

            The police should never abuse their powers and should always enforce them fairly and appropriately and with civility and respect. I know that not all do this.

            Part of their duty is to protect democracy (and the general public) and that includes respecting a free press.

            Equally, their role will bring them into conflict with many people on many occasions. Stop and search can be an appropiate power. It is not for the public to decide each individual circumstance of when it is appropriate.

            I don’t doubt you have been wronged by the police – but that does not jsutify your stereotyping …

            Society could be served better by the police, a lot better – but would be considerably worse without them and they do a great deal to serve us. Strangely the police rarely attract plaudits.

            The difference between my old…

          4. … job (police) and my current job (paramedic) is that previously less than 10% of people wanted to see me – they were either a victim of crime, in an accident, being arrested, being stopped or had been involved in something that they did not want to be involved with. Whereas now 90% of people want to see me as I am hopefully going to make them feel better, rescue them, deliver their baby or get them quickly to the hospital they need to be in etc.

            We only remember our bad experiences when it comes to the police (although I had many compliments in my time). We often remember the good experiences from other professionals eg paramedics …

            Suggesting all police are the same is simplistic rubbish.

          5. Spanner1960: It is perfectly ok to discuss police officers trespassing civil rights, but your comment made it very clear that using homosexual slurs (exacerbated by his being in a position of power) was deemed acceptable (by using ridiculous excuses, to be honest), which is simply incorrect. This is the one thing I am pointing out and not that press censorship should be ignored.

  19. GingerlyColors 15 Dec 2011, 8:17am

    Just look at the Steven Lawrence case. The MacPherson Report found that the Metropolitan Police were institutionally racist and only now are two men are on trial over Steven’s murder after being aquitted the first time with three other suspects and that is mainly due to the abolition of the double jeopardy laws that prevent people from being tried twice for the same crime. The trouble is that it becomes unacceptable to be racist before it becomes unacceptable to be homophobic and while the days that coppers nicked us for being in bed with other men are long gone police homophobia is still a problem.

  20. Well you know what they say If you can’t get a real job join the police. They have no minimum requirements apart from not being caught of committing a crime. I know a lot of officers and have worked closely with my local police and there are a lot of nonsensical unemployable morons who dictate to our community. They seem to forget that they are here to serve the community and not to brow bash. I understand there are a lot of officers who are not like this but unfortunately in my experience they are few and far between. I blame their training it is drummed into my local police (been there done that) that a police officer is never wrong and that they are to never show that they are! Grrr rant over

    1. Yes there are some uneducated people in the police …

      As for arrogance of never being wrong – well there is an aspect of having to take control of a situation that may make a police officer always seem that way … equally many recognise that they do not know everything (the last time I spoke to my local police, they explained their view but recognised they were not experts in the area of law involved and explained they intended to seek advice from their legal department and get back to me – which they are doing) …

      As a former police officer and now a clinician, I have to say the most arrogant profession is doctors (and this is down to their training too – they are taught from day one of medical school that they are the best – the cream of the crop, and should not be questioned) …

  21. Romford is in London by the way, it’s part of the London Borough of Havering..So the met police were rightfully there.

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