Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens
Like many police officers, I felt angry and frustrated that a few hundred extremist idiots were allowed to run amok in London last Saturday almost with impunity. I live in hope that evidence gatherers will be able to identify at least some of these cretins and they may yet be brought to justice. That is of course justice as we now have it in this namby pamby, arty farty, airy fairy apology for a justice system. Remember the lad arrested following one of the student fees protests for throwing a petrol bomb? He got a 12 month referral order, a.k.a. a slap on the wrist and an occasional chat with a youth offending team worker. But, is it strategically acceptable to stand by and allow premises to be destroyed and people injured and then try and pick the offenders up later? I think not.
Having thought about the violence further, I thought surely the management could not have got it that wrong? The intelligence was there, the officers were there, we just didn't have the strategy and tactics in place to deal with a small minority of people intent on just causing trouble and injuring officers. Forget the latest offers from Theresa May about new policing powers. The powers are there. All these idiots could have been searched and photographed and even turned away from the area if that is what was needed. Forget also the talk about all the arrests made. The vast majority of arrests were made at Fortnum and Masons. The protesters there were pretty soft targets. Hardly any of the real violent thugs got arrested.
The person responsible for public order policing in the Met is Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens. Lynne is a high flyer and potentially the first female Met Commissioner. She is nobodies fool. So what was the plan that day? If Lynne is going to get that job then she cannot afford to mess up in a big way.
Was the plan to take a softly softly approach because of the criticisms over kettling and risk what took place? Or was the plan to let the extremists run riot and smash up business, banking premises etc. Perhaps that will wake a few people up to what will happen if the police are not there to protect them. Was Lynne thinking about our future pay and pensions?