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Policewatch Films

Monday, 20 April 2009

Your number's up

This is CO5466 Cowlin, pictured on 2 April at the Royal Exchange with EK127 Alan Palfrey. Curiously, while Cowlin's shoulder number should be CO5466, here he appears to be modelling CO5456. 


Anonymous said...

How very odd! Do you think perhaps he's trying to hide his identity?

Anonymous said...

What, is this Constable 'Panic Attack'?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I may have got the wrong end of the stick. Const 'Panic' is TSG, and this dude is FIT.

Anonymous said...

This is 'Laughing Boy' who has been remarkably successful in being a member of the FIT for some years without getting many pictures of him taken.

Anonymous said...

Identity crisis amongst FIT officers?
Have a look at these 2 photos can anyone confirm if they are one and the same officer Mr specsavers?

? If this is the same officer then why is he wearing the number HT915 on the 28th March & JI190 on the 1st April.

Anonymous said...

Are they the same?
JI190 looks slimmer and either blond or with closely shaven head. He might have had a haircut. Also seems to be wearing frameless glasses with thicker arms. Picture 083 also seems to be JI190 - again glasses look frameless

Anonymous said...

Can those of FIT WATCH please put pictures of yourselves up?
Or are you to much of a coward to do that???

Clovis said...

That's rich, coming from someone who's not bold enough to share her or his name!

Anonymous said...

Ok, send us the pictures??

jonsparta said...

No answer then?

Anonymous said...

Get a job you hippies. This site is nothing more than a police fan blog, which one is your favourite? I looove JL109, have you got posters or badges? Is this a police fan club, will i get a special pack if i join. Face it YOU WANT TO BE THEM, you just cant bear that feeling so u start a anti police blog,

Clovis said...

jonsparta: If you want pictures of us, you'll have to do better than that.

anonymous 0800: We do have jobs. And we're not hippies. On top of this, none of us want or wanted to join the police. So, wrong on three counts.

Clovis said...

Oh - and it's very far from being a police fan blog.

Anonymous said...

PS Comment, the 2nd

At last, some one has realised that Fit Watch are a police fan club. To be honest they used to be informants and took the money and run. Indymedia should be watching out.. Shame on you! ( Repeat till bored!)

Anonymous said...

It's strange how so many cops/cop afficianados turn up when things aren't running smoothly for them...

gadgetmind said...

Can I just say that speaking as an ordinary working bloke (with wife, family and mortgage) who doesn't have the guts to join these protests (even though I support many of the causes) due to the way that the British Police are increasingly used as a political tool, hats off to the Fit Watch guys!

The mainstream media is *finally* starting to report on the disgusting Police tactics and it's the photographs and videos of the Police that's swaying things.

Everyone wants peacefull protest, other then the Police who don't see to want peace, and the government who don't want protest of any kind.


thegreatbritishbobby said...

Come on FIT watch form an orderly Q for autographs from the sexy boys in blue. You know you really do like them and are just jealous of the uniforms. Your only doing what they are doing but your doing it without any authority and breaking the law whilst doing it. Taking your little pictures and posting them on the internet. Oooo look at his collar number isnt it long

confused said...

where do you get your authority to take pictures of people without there consent and post them on the internet.

pc plum balamory said...

Wow you guys are great I wish I was you running around taking pictures of honest hardworking people trying to keep the public safe and branding them dictators ready to stamp on your face with their jackbooted foot

Anonymous said...

[Photo]This is CO5466 Cowlin, pictured on 2 April at the Royal Exchange with EK127 Alan Palfrey. Curiously, while Cowlin's shoulder number should be CO5466, here he appears to be modelling CO5456.

.......or youve just read the number wrong cos you cant actually see it

Anonymous said...

Well its now a foot....Ive started my own group its called FIT watch watch its like badger watch but without bill oddie, we couldnt get him at short notice. The idea is that we are going to attend public demonstrations and take photos of you lot then post them on the internet so everyone know what you look like, by doing this we hope to stop you intruding on anyones human right which im sure you have already done

Clovis said...


i have the same right to take pictures of the police as they do of me. it's not like they have any sort of special dispensation to take pictures in public, as the home secretary made clear.


from the same place that all the people with pictures of other people on the internet took theirs.

pc plum balamory

hardworking honest people? you don't mean people like ek127 palfrey, whose evidence on the stand has been known to be at variance with the established facts?

anonymous 1452

i looked long and hard at that picture before making the post. it seems to me that the third number is a 5 rather than a 6. look at the straightness of the top line. however, as i said, he appears to be wearing 5456 - i'll keep 'em peeled for next time to be sure.

Clovis said...

Anonymous 1455

Give us a link then.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone on here tell me one country in the world that would put up with the kind of protests seen in london and police as well or better than the british police have.
Im not looking for sarcastic answers or anarchist bullshit name a country and give an example

Anonymous said...

Actually Clovis police officers do have a special right of ''dispensation'' to take pictures of the public it comes under the regulations of investigatory powers act.

Anonymous said...

what the boyz in blue don't seem to get(imagine!), is that the time is gone when they could visit their thug behaviour with impunity, and behind closed doors, so to speak. Now they are being watched, no place to hide. This site is becoming THE place for sorting out the sheep and the goats and, of course the p***.
POV 'rus, don't u no. They lobbied to make vids and snaps of their good selves illegal... bwah ha ha. 21st century rulez, ok?
heh heh

Clovis said...

Anonymous 1509

I'm not interested in how other countries would have done. The simple fact is we know how the British police did. One man died, with - at least - speculation that he was effectively beaten to death by the police. Protesters offering no threat to police or to the life of the community were beaten off the streets. In essence there was a police riot in the City on 1 & 2 April. And, as has been mentioned here, it wasn't only protesters who were assaulted, but lawyers, journalists and at least one councillor.

For the first time in many years MPs have called for an inquiry into policing tactics, and GLA members have sought an urgent meeting with top police officers. The story has been prominent in the press for three weeks. This is not something usual in this country.

As can be seen from numerous photographs and footage the police broke their own rules. Admittedly these rules are more often honoured in the breach than the observance - nonetheless, it is worth pointing out that the TSG and level 2 public order trained officers are instructed in training not to whack the head. The number of bloody heads testifies to my belief that this instruction is delivered with a nod and a wink.

So, if by your question you mean that other countries' police would have obeyed their own rules of engagement, which might have led to a different number of injuries and deaths, then I don't know the British police come out so well. I believe that most other forces would have used - and abided by - the rules they're taught to use. I don't think that they would have been so ready to lie about the situation. I don't think that there would have been such police press briefings about being up for violence.

Yesterday a Tory MP said in Parliament that the police outside were refusing to clear the Tamil demonstration because they feared that they end up in court for their actions. He drew the conclusion that law and order had broken down. I draw the conclusion that the police believe they can't do public order without breaking the law.

So I think your question's devoid of meaning. If the British police can't do public order without lying about it, if they can't do public order without breaking their own stated rules, if they feel they need to break the law to deal with public order situations, we know how things are here. Abroad, I hope they'd manage to work within their own laws. But if their police are anything like ours, I'm by no means certain of that.

Paul the ex coppers son said...

What a bunch of saddos slagging of these guys here who actually hjave the guts to stand up to these bully boy policemen. My old man was a copper -he did some good things but I know enough about the bad things that went and do go on to know that FITwatch are sorely needed. I guess most of the anonymous bloggers here are policemen worried about footage that might already be out there showing them assaulting people. they forget they are our servants - not our masters. I believe many of them struggle to find enough brain power to even consider what the issues the G20 protesters are protesting about. I know my old man's main concern with the miners strike was how much overtime it made him - sad but true.

Clovis said...

anonymous 1514

although i am unfamiliar with ripa, i do know that the fit rely on the same legal right to take pictures of people in public that anyone else has. they certainly aren't using ripa for that.

freethinker said...


from the same place that all the people with pictures of other people on the internet took theirs.'
Yeh I think you ll find if you dont know the people and did not ask for permission to take their photo you are breaching a number of laws. You are also breaching peoples human rights and data protection.
What you have got to ask yourself is how would you feel if the police posted pictures of you on the internet and what laws you would say they were breaking?
You say in a lot of your posts how britain is a police state and a dictatorship well its not is it the very fact you exist and have not been bagged in the night and shot into a bin liner is evidence of that, when you start to actually compare the UK to other countries such as russia korea china iran iraq burma cuba etc the things you shout about start to look pretty paltry in comparison. In the UK there is a freedom of speech there is freedom of demonstration everyone is entitled to vote or run for office in paliament its really not that bad at all. If you think it is I would ask you to get a Visa and go to China or korea or any of the countries i have listed above and demostrate there and take pictures of their public servents. When you have done this come back here and comment on your findings if your still able to that is.
The very reason that over the recent months london has seen the protests it has is because of the reasons listed above, I mean last time I looked at a map Palestine is no where near london yet alot of people felt the need to demonstrate there about freeing it. Tamil tigers break into paliament square now again this is not the last time I checked sri lanka yet they are demonstrating here. They do this because the country is FREE and if they did this in sri lanka they would be shot because sri lanka is a dictatorship ....its simple when you think about it.
Dont get me wrong I respect you and what you THINK your doing but your not achieving anything are you if you really want to change things run for parliament and see if you can gain public support for your ideas, ( you may have to come up with some more than lets photograph police officers though)
Because these internet blogs are a bit of fun but really what ever is said on them doesnt really matter in the long run there just a debating tool. You could write on here until hell freezes over but you will still be writing about the same things with not an inch of ground being gained.
Rant over...

Clovis said...

(link broken so you can see it all)

this report shows that overt filming, the sort of filming done by the fit, does not fall within ripa. so please let us hear no more about that.

Anonymous said...

If your unfamiliar with RIPA you cant possibly begin to comment on anything with regard to rights to take pictures in public of the public its the core bit of legislation surrounding everything your talking about.You say they use the same legal right as veryone else can you tell me what act this is?
Yes police in other countries would of followed their rules to the letter they would of opened fire with baton rounds and tear gas fact, and now thanks to the furor created by yourselves this is more than likely what will happen here after the review of public order tactics.
Some countries would of opened fire with live ammunition before asking any questions.

Anonymous said...

I think that is out of date now but i may be wrong. It does however fall within as it says ''rather it is governed by an MPS Policy and set of Standard Operating Procedures.''
Which unless im wrong again does sound like a legal authority.

Clovis said...

1) What human rights or laws are being breached? Privacy? I don't believe there's a case for saying that a police officer on duty in a public place has any realistic expectation of privacy. If you, or anyone else, can come up with something to substantiate that point, please post it up.

2) If you're right and this is against the law, I doubt the police would post up my picture. My picture already appears on a number of sites where I haven't given my permission, and nor was it sought. Don't see me bleating about it.

3) Just as there are a variety of democracies, there are a variety of police states. You don't have to drop trots from helicopters to be a police state. The politicisation of the British police over the last 30 years is a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion. The creation of a number of thought crimes is a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion. ACPO is a private company, yet it has annexed a range of powers which one would expect, in a self-styled liberal democracy, to be within the province of the state. The police have such wide-ranging powers as to place them in a position of considerable authority within the running of the country, powers which have gone their way over the course of a number of years, which have been gained without parliamentary debate and without the sort of 'national debate' which the government's so very fond of having. Yes, it is not formally a police state. But the growth of police powers, their arbitrary use in circumstances which parliament has declared are at odds with their original purpose, and the collection of considerable powers by a fairly secretive unaccountable cabal of senior officers - ACPO - make the description of the UK as a police state a lot less outlandish than it would have been in the 1970s or 1980s.

4) Yes, people can demonstrate about the plight of the Palestinians or Tamils. But the circumstances under which demonstrations occur vary greatly depending on how the police view the issue, not necessarily on the behaviour of the demonstrators themselves. In the 1890s and 1900s the Belgian Congo was cause which inspired outrage and scores of popular demonstrations. Should the distance of an injustice determine whether people are allowed to demonstrate about it? We're frequently told how important this country is. When people fall for that and try to persuade the government to do something about the issue, should they demonstrate or should they go to the source of the problem? You may remember a couple of years ago the BBC reported that the French were being expected to do something about Haiti, as they were the former colonial power. Now, the French were evicted from Haiti 200 years ago. The British left Ceylon and Palestine much more recently. Is it so unrealistic to expect the government to use their influence as the fcp? Probably. But you can't blame people like the Tamils for trying.

Clovis said...

anonymous 1549/anonymous 1553

I know of no circumstances when a senior police officer has invoked this so-called right to restrict photography. However, the reason I post this link is because of this bit:

'First of all, may I take this opportunity to state that the Government greatly values the importance of the freedom of the press, and as such there is no legal restriction on photography in public places,' Smith writes. 'Also, as you will be aware, there is no presumption of privacy for individuals in a public place.'I assume the Home Secretary is factually correct in her letter.

Clovis said...

Oh - anonymous 1549 - there wouldn't be any furor if the police hadn't lied about their contact with ian tomlinson, attacked the climate camp, kettled the demonstrators, whacked a few journalists, lawyers and a councillor - as well as a load of demonstrators - and attacked the memorial gathering the next day. a number of mps saw the police behaviour on 1/4, and what they saw appalled them. i'm pleased you think us so very influential!

Anonymous said...

and now for something completely different

OOPS - it's actually more of the same. Channel 4 blows off injunction - more analysis of the k****r cop footage.

Polly S Mann said...

My understanding has always been that a majority of police officers are army rejects.

fotdmike said...

Well, as far as I understand it (and of course, like anyone else, I could always be wrong) in this country the law as it stands allows for photographing in public places and indeed photographing people in public places (which obviously includes the police), where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

On another matter entirely (though also brought up in this thread) it occurs to me that if the tactic of fitwatching weren't having an impact on the policing of protest and the deployment of FIT officers thereat then this blog wouldn't see quite as many posts by (presumably) police officers or commenters that would like us all to believe they're police officers.

Generally I find the best way to deal with trolls is simply to ignore them, but on occasion I'll make exceptions.


Anonymous said...

Clovis said "Yesterday a Tory MP said in Parliament that the police outside were refusing to clear the Tamil demonstration because they feared that they end up in court for their actions. He drew the conclusion that law and order had broken down. I draw the conclusion that the police believe they can't do public order without breaking the law"

It couldn't possibly be that Police officers are completely and utterly fucked off with being shat on by the media and the public for doing EXACTLY what we are TRAINED to do could it???

Nick Hardwick of the IPCC said yesterday to the home affairs select committee "we can't train our Police officers to use certain tactics and then completely wash our hands of them when they use those tactics because we don't like how they look"

Anonymous said...

There are points that need raising

1)police have always been acting this way ie using these tactics or similar, and the prevalence of new cheap video and picture making tools means more people have then so more than ever is being recorded, on both sides, so for the first time, the wider pubic has very real first hand evidence of the effects of such tactics, where as it was just pictures made by journalists, words and some tv footage that the police facilitated, in good faith either through good will or as a controlling measure, which was then heavily edited by the mainstream media. so now the wider public is able to see directly through the mist, its no wonder more truths are coming out.

2) I see no reason for some of the tactics we have seen of late, due to the fact that police in their new robo suits are the best historically protected people against the relatively low level of aggression that was on show at the g20, so their injuries are lower than they were if you compare what police were wearing during the handsworth riots for instance. or broadwater farm, which were in all instances "real riots". I would understand such tactics in those circumstances, but at the g20 as people have seen were fairly heavy handed, and at times more aggressive.

3) there are good coppers and good coppers with riot shields on that is true, but why should the small minority amongst he ranks be spoiling it for their colleagues. I know personally many coppers from constable right up to assistant chief inspectors both serving and retired and almost all raise their eye brows at the actions of some, where the vast majority are reasonable and proportionate, it lays in the hands of colleagues to gender a culture of having words with each other to sort things out, rather than heavy handed approaches from superiors to sort things out. yes we don't use water canons or batton rounds, and comparing us to other countries is just plain stupid, we should be concerned about the actions of out own and that's it.

fitwatch is doing an important job in raising these issues and gathering evidence on these issues and the police service seem incapable of sorting out themselves, maybe if they did then we would not have a need for blogs such as this.

many thanks

Anonymous said...


Are we to understand that you are 'TRAINED' to assault - with deadly weapon - passers by from behind, for NO reason, and then to smack young women in the face and after that drive your fine shields into the faces of young people who are legitimately expressing concerns about the state apparatus and its illegal machinations? Makes sense, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

The police will now probably withdraw from public order situations and that could just be the start, imagine if they started working to rule so handed in firearms authorities and driving authorities. So in effect would only be able to attend a job on foot and when they did it would take at lot longer to attend immediate response jobs, now if this were to happen what will you do when the crims off the estates of britain come to your house and force their way in then steal your belongings or do worse to your partners and families what will you do ?

Anonymous said...

the police will do as they are bidden, or get another job. Wassup - you don't like it when the thug element is exposed??

Anonymous said...

The Police won't do as they are bidden actually, the only roles we are required to do BY LAW are foot patrol an level 3 public order. Everything else is voluntary, fuck us over for doing the job AS TRAINED and we'll stop volunteering. We don't get paid any more for any skill set, we don't even get that much overtime and recently the grief significantly outweighs any benefit.

Anonymous said...

From today's Independant -

"MPs also raised concerns over so-called "distraction tactics", which allow officers to strike anyone who they believe is acting violently. Nick Hardwick, head of the IPCC, said that the term was a "euphemism" and that support for the technique may have to be looked at as officers could not be blamed for deploying a tactic they had been trained to use"

Anonymous said...

I heard something about National Shove-a-copper day. Has anybody set a date yet?

Metcountymounty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

yeah, Leicester Square, this friday after 9pm. Bring a few mates, you'll need them.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of cobblers being talked here in defence of the police. If you don't like working for them, get a job at McDonalds. I'm not stopping you.

Meanwhile the most odious and disingenuous of justifications, the so-called "bad egg" theory, exculpates the institution by blaming the few. Fine. Then why were the dozen or so other cops willing to stand by and watch while Tomlinson was slaughtered. If I did it to you I'd be in front of a magistrate within days. Why did you not arrest this criminal when you saw him in front of you committing his crime. You had your chance. You neglected your duty.

And what of the whole institutional practice of collectively assaulting the peaceful protesters with their hands in the air, or even sitting on the ground. Obeying orders may be an excuse. But you are defending the police as an institution. You are defending those orders.

And what about the institutional practice of cover-up both carried on by the press office which selectively leaks pathologists report details which suit and denies that there had been any contact with Tomlinson so long as it could. How did they know? And what about this seedy practice of disguising call numbers and officers refusing to identify themselves? If you are all so honest what do you have to hide?

One poster asks how we would fare without the police on the poor estates. The answer is simple. Nothing would change. There would be murder and mayhem just like now.

Take Peter Woodhams, do you remember him? Victim of attempted murder in January 2006. Resident of canning town. The police don't even go to canning town. International delivery companines won't even deliver to canning town. The police did nothing. They wouldn't even collect his garments, lovingly preserved by his father, for forensic examination, still less actually send them to the lab.

The only reason we know this is because six months later he was murdered successfully by the same people. Then it hit the spotlight. Nothing changed. And nothing would change in Canning Town if the police were disbanded tomorrow. How could it?

You need to get over yourselves, and if you don't like serving the public, get out and get a real job earning a decent day's wage for a decent day's work. Otherwise shut up and do what you're told. We the people are sovereign. You belong to a body deputised to apply our laws--not the other way round. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Viva channel 4 we say!

Here is a telling display of 'Mr PC Panic Attackio' put together by CH4 and shown tonight. This, of course, is before he panics. Still a bit 'Jack the Lad' at this point...

some lad, right enough.

Anonymous said...

Well done C4. That footage CLEARLY shows that the officer in question performed his duties well. There is obvious public disorder, officers were in clear danger of assault and order had to be restored. It is unfortunate that the bloke died but, maybe it was just, 'his time'.After all the first PM stated a Heart attack, the 2nd showed internal bleeding. I feel that that footage has supported, not hindered that officers case.
And another thing, I think the Tamil protesters are an example to all protesters. That, people is peaceful protesting and them getting their valid point across. Not only are they polite, they clean up after themselves, police themselves and show nothing but respect for the Londoners that are put out. And in turn the MET are showing themselves in a good light. The only trouble seems to be from that twat Brian Haw, who is bad mouthing the Tamils and being a arse, nothing new there then!

No I am not Old Bill. I am a courier, hence I get around a fair bit

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 22 April 2009 16:30

Maybe it was just his time? His time to be assaulted from behind for no reason? Would you say the same thing if it was a member of the public attacking a copper?

Anonymous said...

Funny thing, in the Channel 4 video linked above there's a copper getting punched in the head by a member of the public, after which a bunch of coppers chase him down and presumably arrest him.
-Wasn't it 'just his time' to be punched in the head?
-Why was no-one arrested when the policemen punched people in the head? There are plenty of cases of that happening.
-Why has PC Panic Attack still not been arrested for killing Mr Tomlinson?

Metcountymounty said...

anon 1538 said "You need to get over yourselves, and if you don't like serving the public, get out and get a real job earning a decent day's wage for a decent day's work. Otherwise shut up and do what you're told. We the people are sovereign. You belong to a body deputised to apply our laws--not the other way round. Deal with it"

Are you having a laugh? what a completely hypocritical statement considering the bollocks you wrote in the same post. We were doing our job, we were doing what we were told and we were getting on with it and we were doing exactly what we were trained to do. If you don't agree with the training then fine, but don't try and persecute us for doing what we are trained to do just because you don't like how it looks. If you can come up with a better method of crowd control that doesn't require a significant increase in force with stand off shield lines, CS grenades, baton rounds, live bullets and water cannon then please share your wisdom. If not then stop talking shit.

Polly S Mann said...

"we were doing exactly what we were trained to do"

It would be easier to respond if you made clear exactly what you're referring to. Do you mean you were trained to punch peaceful demonstrators in the face without warning, push passersby over from behind without warning when they have their hands in their pockets, or go out on duty with your shoulder numbers concealed or removed?

If you don't mean those things, do you accept that some officers did not do exactly what they were trained to do, and our complaints may therefore be legitimate?

Metcountymounty said...

epaulettes no, everything else I have seen on every single video that both has and hasn't hit the media - yes. Trained tactics.

Wait for the IPCC investigations to finish for all the information, as many people have said this has been going on for years - especially at football - because we are trained to Police public order situations that way. If officers are prosecuted for doing what we are trained to do then the vast majority won't be doing it any more because we volunteer. If we're slated for doing what we are trained in exactly the circumstances we are taught then why should we put ourselves forward the a witch hunt?

As the post above says - Nick Hardwick of the IPCC said yesterday to the home affairs select committee "we can't train our Police officers to use certain tactics and then completely wash our hands of them when they use those tactics because we don't like how they look"

Anonymous said...

Perhaps not. But when those tactics have the effect they did on 1/4, of being at least a cause of Ian Tomlinson's death, how they look is nothing compared to what their result is.

Metcountymounty said...

and the result of a running line with long shields? or the result of a stampede caused by tear gas? or the result of a baton round to the chest or face? or the result of a live round to the chest? or the result of being hit with a tonne of water in a second by water cannon?

Those are the options if we have to change. Doing nothing is not an option, so again, what do we do instead?

At the moment Ian Tomlinsons cause of death is disputed let alone the direct actions of that officer. I think everyone would ask for another autopsy if one answer means you're not at fault and the other means facing life in prison for manslaughter. The full facts are not known, was it natural caused by being a life long alcoholic or as the result of hitting the deck? CPR by untrained people can cause massive amounts of internal damage, even by properly trained people you're looking at broken ribs and internal bleeding at a minimum, especially on someone his age and most definitely with his medical history. We don't know the full facts, wait until we have them before castigating police officers for doing what we are trained to do.

Really Fit said...

Hmm. I'm probably going out on a limb here, but have to say that I think MCM has a point.

All the footage coming out of the G20 certainly does show the police behaving as they are trained to behave. This IS what public order policing looks like.

This is not a case of 'one bad apple'. None of the TSG highlighted have stepped out of line according to police training and procedures. This is how they are expected to behave, and how they routinely behave at protests and football matches. Except they are usually much more aggressive and violent at football matches. .

I'm not excusing police violence at all. It is not acceptable for the police to hit people without cause. But scapegoating a couple of individuals is an easy way out for those in real positions of power.

Fit-u-up said...

MCM - "one answer means you're not at fault and the other means facing life in prison for manslaughter"

Even if the death was unrelated to the police actions, surely you can't say the officer is 'not at fault'. Tomlinson was just walking along and the policeman knocked him over. How is that not an unjustified assault? You say that it's your training - maybe you're trained to knock someone down like that when you need to knock them down, but THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO CALL FOR KNOCKING TOMLINSON DOWN. If there was, there wouldn't be manslaughter charges.

Fit-u-up said...

MCM - "Those are the options if we have to change. Doing nothing is not an option, so again, what do we do instead?"

What police are supposed to do. Facilitate peaceful demonstrations, step in IF someone gets out of hand. It's nonsense to say the only alternative to attacking passersby is to use teargas and watercannons. Get a grip man.

Metcountymounty said...

Really Fit, thank you for your honesty, it's good to know that we can actually debate it without everything a copper says just being slagged off!! fit-u-up (nice name by the way) I've worked on hundreds of demos where nothing has or ever will have happened and we have been there with as few officers as possible, the problem starts when we know it's going to kick off whether we are there in normal beat duty uniform or full PSU kit, mainly because people are stupid enough to advertise it. The preferred (or least worst) option at the moment is to get close and contain in situations where disorder is experienced or credibly expected with the least number of officers possible. That means being literally in body contact with people who neither want you there nor think you should be there. Facilitating lawful protest is great, if EVERYONE accepts that we are there to facilitate it. The vast majority of the time at heated demos people don't think we should be there at all, let alone that we should be restricting their movements or locking cordons down to prevent some people who are intent on causing damage and injury from getting anywhere else.

Personally, I don't like the tactic because every single time we've done it I've had to say literally hundreds of times "no I don't think you're a protestor or are going to cause trouble, but I can't let you through, sorry" and to be honest it's a royal pain in the arse because we can see it on the faces of people who would traditionally support us that the support is now gone.

The tactic of containment or kettling DOES work however, by having a significant majority of people who don't want trouble they naturally keep the minority in check, even after many hours of getting bored and pissed off. I'd prefer to discriminate massively against people and let out those who I think aren't going to be a problem and leave the rest in, but that would lead to a pretty significant tear up and massive numbers of serious - possibly even fatal - injuries (possibly on both sides, definitely on the demonstrators) which is why we can't do it. And to be honest, I don't go to work wanting to kill someone or seriously fuck them up for life and neither does anyone I work with.

As I've no doubt happened on every cordon during the G20, when most people realised they weren't getting out and walked away, a few who stayed back were let out. We know who isn't going to cause trouble, we're not stupid or without compassion we just can't be seen doing that with a crowd of people because it leads to more trouble with people getting pissed off and asking "why are you letting them out and not me"

If we can't put containments in for disorder situations then the only option is to have fully deployed shield units at a stand off distance, and the only way to keep the distance and maintain the cordon without getting up close is to extend the range of your use of force by using CS grenades and projectiles or water cannon.

Most big stuff like the G20 is worked on cancelled rest days. We aren't getting paid for it and we'll probably not get the day back. Do you honestly think we'd rather have a 16-20 hour running battle and risk someone being seriously injured or killed, or do precisely sod all and maybe even have a kip? We don't want it to kick off but when it does we HAVE to deal with it and are trained to deal with it, so again, what options would you prefer?

Being corralled for hours with no where to go and get progressively pissed off and bored with the occasional pushing and shoving or maybe a smack with the flat of a shield or a punch when moving a large group of people who don't want to be moved? or get shot at with rubber bullets or have your face smashed in with the blade of a running shield line because at the moment it's one or the other as no one has come up with a credible solution to it?

We've seen what happens when the tactical option is to try and disperse groups of protestors intent on having a fight such as the poll tax or mayday riots. Containment causes less injuries but requires individual use of force, which as we have seen people don't like the look of, and officers are being witch hunted by the media for using.

Anonymous said...

Following this thread I'm coming to the view that the police are institutionally criminal, and that scapegoating officers who are merely obeying orders, as is their job, is wrong and is an easy cop out both for the senior officers who give the orders and for society at large which should be putting these senior officers on trial for their crimes.

In any normal crime syndicate it is the leaders who we go after and prosecute. We don't try to pin the crimes of the Mafia on some junior enforcer obeying orders from Don Corleone. There's never any question about this.

This view appears to me to be consistent with MCM, or what I can glean from that part of his ranting which is minimally coherent. The ranking officers are not to blame. The policy planners who decided to criminally attack peaceful protesters at G20 and elsewhere are.

What MCM does demonstrate, however, is incredible arrogance. He forgets, along with New Labour and the entire police force as an institution, that his job is merely to apply the law, nothing more and nothing less. He appears incapable of seeing that Tomlinson broke no law. It has never been suggested that he did. Nobody has to obey the police per se. We are constrained to obey the law, that is all. This lesson has been forgotten all the way up to the top of the executive branch. This is the problem, really. To tackle the institutional corruption requires to strike at the top, not at the bottom.

The suggestion that there is no alternative but to attack peaceful demonstrators with their hands in the air chanting "this is not a riot" is just laughable and shows a complete lack of understanding of why the state exists in the first place and of the role of law enforcement. The assumption seems to be that there are good people and bad people; that these are bad people and that it is the job of the police to punish them for being bad. If that is what you think, you must have missed at least one day at police training academy: the day they explained constitutional government.

One of the confusions here is that Old Bill can't decide whether he is speaking as a police officer or as a member of the public. You can speak as both, but not at the same time. As a police officer you have a job to do. It's not for you to decide what it should be. It is for your boss: the people. (Who else did you think you were working for?). As a member of the public, welcome to the debate, but leave your arrogant abuse of authority at the door. You're just the same as the rest of us. It is your freedom too that we are talking about protecting. It is for your good too. And as an equal, you are entitled to participate in the debate, but not as our master. That you never were.

It's sad and disappointing that you can't see that.

Clovis said...

Frankly, you don't know people's intentions. You don't have the faintest idea of what's going on much of the time. I've been detained in possibly the world's smallest kettle by two TSG officers who claimed that 'I'd made my intentions clear' and that I was 'going to throw myself in front of President Bush's motorcade'. Utter tosh.

A couple of days ago an inspector engaged me in conversation in central London and then spent five minutes telling me how confrontational I was, even though he admitted I was neither threatening nor aggressive.

So, if someone reasonably well-known to the FIT and TSG can have their intentions and behaviour so badly misread, it's not really realistic to expect greater accuracy when the police come to other people. It was recently written in the papers that the police treat the public as the enemy. Certainly that's been my predominant experience, and the sort of attitude I've generally encountered seems calculated to destroy respect for the police or a belief that they know what they're doing.

Anonymous said...


you are promoting and threatening to deploy tactics of escalation of violence on your part, invoking CS gas and rubber bullets and "maybe a smack with the flat of a shield or a punch" - or how about the possibility of "wanting to kill someone or seriously fuck them up for life". You choose to present imaginary futures for us containing this scenario "or get shot at with rubber bullets or have your face smashed in with the blade of a running shield line".
Your paramilitary terminology has sociopathic undertones, and a wretched seeker after violence you come across as.

Your kind went down the tube, pinned down an innocent man team handed, then shot him with ten to the head. A couple missed(!), but who needs eight in the head in order to kill a man. This tells us of the type of beings who are armed, uniformed then set loose in the streets of England. (If indeed they were police. They did hide behind the skirts of the coroner, fearfully hiding their identity)

As far as the poll tax debacle is concerned, anybody who was there knows full well that the police kicked that off, and will agree on that. Except, once again, of course, the police. I'm afraid you are wasting your time trying to 'be reasonable' around here, given your collective form. You are being employed as a paramilitary wing of an unpopular state apparatus, whether you see or agree with this. In your present situation you are never going to regain the affection and confidence of the people of your country, against whom and whose interests you regularly are acting.

Sad but true..

Clovis said...

Yeh. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said that US marines returning after the Second World War should be stationed in a camp away from the civilian population until they were fit to be readmitted to society. Much the same could be said of the TSG.

Metcountymounty said...

anon 1015. do you not think it is incredibly arrogant to suggest that the only people who's opinions count are the ones who think like you? what about the rest of the people who actually think that you're wrong and who want us to Police demonstrations? Thanks for bringing up the "this is not a riot" line. It looks really good on camera doesn't it all those peaceful protestors with their hands in the air chanting, so when we stop them kicking and kneeing us - which of course you never see - by pushing them back or hitting them with a baton or shield we're the one's using excessive force. Apparently.

anon 1049. I'm being realistic not sociopathic and as far as being a 'wretched seeker of violence' I'll use violent tactics as and when appropriate in law and as and when trained and if I did otherwise I wouldn't have been doing this job for as long as I have would I? The force escalation levels I wrote about are what are used in every country on this planet EXCEPT the UK in public order situations. Doing nothing is not an option. Do you want a world where the Police don't go near protestors and leave them alone for their peaceful protests? So what happens when property is damaged, or buildings are torched by those who attend who have no intention of protesting peacefully? No one has the right to destroy property in the name of protest and the vast majority of people in this country don't think they should either and expect us to stop it going that far. We do so by using public order tactics and if we can't use the one's we currently use then what's left? oh, that'll be what everyone else uses.

And with regard to the poll tax demo, yes I'm well aware that it was the Police who actually kick started the majority of the disorder because the tactic chosen to deal with large numbers of people in and around T Sq was to disperse them. As I said, dispersal is an option as is containment, the latter is proven to cause significantly less damage and risk of injury to everyone.

Anonymous said...

ok so met county made some good points, its not easy when tony blair made crap laws where no one seems to know where they stand, but in a democracy when are rank and file going to read the memo's from the top so we don't get this kind of rubbish happening like we do now, years ago it used to be so much better.

the guidelines are clear why so much obstruction.

due to the 1st amendment right in the usa, which we don't have in the uk, any officer doing that is out on his ear straight away. I don't think the press in the uk are as arsy as some in the usa and there used to be some degree of understanding, which has gone.

regards a northerner

Anonymous said...

a northerner, we were letting NUJ pass holders through cordons in accordance with home office guidelines, and that directive came from the gold commander literally minutes after we put the absolute cordons in. There were lots of press who had 'passes' that I could make on my PC in less than a minute who weren't let through, one guy even had a hand made laminated card with 'Press' written on it in biro and expected to get through. The Home Office says only official NUJ cards are valid, so they're the only ones coming through.

The City of london Inspector asking the photogs to move wouldn't have been doing that off his own back, that would have come from at least a superintendent, probably Ch.Supt or higher.

gene hunt said...

Met county mounty give it up as a bad job pal this lot are idiots. They are few in number and dont represent public opinion, I ve just looked at there face book group there are only 33 people in it hardly a majority is it. We in the job know what we do is right and we do as we have been trained we uphold the law to the best of our ability under very difficult circumstances in a world of madness. These people will see what you have written come true and they must realise they are not a threat from the rank and file but are a truth that next time they protest and use violence against police officers and cause damage to public buildings.
They need to get a grip on reality but then again I think that is asking to much

Anonymous said...

tell us again about the dead police who were attacked from behind, if you don't mind, by a cowardly, thuggish panic merchant. Then about 'no contact with Mr. Tomlinson', then about the dodgy pathologist(got form) and his 'heart attack' and so on and on. The 'police' as in the De Menezes case, have been shown to be a bunch of arrogant, lying bunch of CU next Tuesdays - and THAT's the truth.

gene effin' hunt indeed. You don't seem to be aware that even at a remote remove you can't help but expose yourselves for what you are.

Anonymous said...

MCM: You say the people were kicking the police while holding their hands in the air. Do you have any evidence? Why should I believe the police when they have been caught lying so much. We don't believe you. It's very hard to believe something so inherently implausible from established liars.

Certainly the protesters were seen peacefully assembled amicably remaining within the constraint of the law. The police were apart from them then. No one can have been kicking them then. The police then attacked, presumably under orders. Those orders were criminal and all who obeyed them diminished the public interest. If you tell me to kill Fred, that doesn't exculpate me in murdering him. The law rules, not the police. That is what you fail to understand.

You claim I am being arrogant in believing the only opinions that matter are those of people like me. Not so. Please re-read my post. All the people in equal measure must have their voices count. They do so through their representatives when properly assembled as the Queen in parliament. Constitutionally, we, the people of the UK, that includes you, declare our collective will in what is called the law. Your job is to apply it, not to decide good from bad or right from wrong. The legislature has already discharged that function.

Tomlinson broke no law. His killer is suspected of manslaughter and should be prosecuted. It is for the court to decide. But a reasonable mitigating consideration is obedience to orders. Far more grave an offence against the public interest is constituted in giving those orders. This is why it is the senior officers and members of the executive who should be prosecuted first. In fact I would say it is a travesty of justice to prosecute Tomlinson's killer. He is being hung out to dry to save the criminals in charge.

I accept what you say about being trained to behave like this. In this case you are trained to break the law. You are a member of a criminal organisation which has usurped the legislative function and made itself an enemy of the people. It plainly violates the law.

Just because somebody gives you an illegal order doesn't mean you have to obey. If the order violates the highest principle of your profession, namely impartial application of the law, then your professional duty requires you to resign. Your profession is corrupt and has failed you. You have not failed it. In a better world you would be rewarded for conscientiousness.

Best Wishes,
Anon 10.15

Anonymous said...

The Nurmberg Defence holds no water now since over 60 years. 'I was only obeying orders' was thrown out back in the day, and should not be taken into consideration. There is no defense in law for killing someone - NONE.

Clovis said...

With regard to the poll tax riot, MCM, it's worth pointing out that at the time the mounted police attacked the sit-down protest on Whitehall, the end of the march hadn't even left Kennington Park. And there were a lot of people in Trafalgar Square. It doesn't strike me as a good idea, to start to disperse a demonstration from the middle!

Metcountymounty said...

anon 1015 - it is your opinion, and it is just an opinion, that the orders and subsequent actions were illegal. We aren't taught training that is intentionally illegal, we are taught what we can do within the realms of the law and that's it, and to suggest otherwise is incredibly naive. Our training has time and again been ruled legal by the highest courts in the land. Quite frankly, I don't care whether or not you think the 'peaceful' demonstrators were kicking us, I have no reason to lie and you're accusing my colleagues and I of lying based on press statements that were based on information the people had at the time. Just because that information turned out later to be incorrect it doesn't mean they lied. How many times in your life have you had to make a judgement or take action based on information which turned out to be wrong? does that mean you acted illegally or were deliberately lying?

You seem to be more prone to believe the 'peaceful' protestors why? because you've seen a video of a Police officer punching or hitting someone? you have little or no context to make a judgement of that kind based on such a small amount of information. If I showed you a ten second clip of soldiers throwing a grenade into a house in which a child was killed does that mean they acted illegally? or would you suggest you needed considerably more information in order to make a proper assessment?

Your opinion on whether or not it is my place to decide right from wrong, or good from bad, is also completely incorrect. As a constable it is my job to make judgements about people based on the information I have at the time. I can't arrest someone unless I believe there are reasonable grounds for suspecting they are guilty of having committed the offence in question. I can't use force unless there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that to do otherwise could put myself, the person subject to that force or anyone else in harms way, or that to not do so would contribute to a breach of the peace. It is absolutely my job to judge whether or not someone is right or wrong. That doesn't mean that they are held legally responsible or not because it takes the legal action of a court and ruling of a judge and jury to make that decision.

If you see someone stab someone else in the street you KNOW that person did it and are guilty of having committed that offence, that doesn't mean a jury will agree with you and if they are found not guilty because of a legal technicality or insufficient evidence does that mean you are lying when you say you saw what you saw?

You have absolutely no idea what was or was not said to Ian Tomlinson before he was pushed, you have no idea what warnings were given to him as they moved forward. At the point he was pushed he was immediately in front of the dog units and if he was pushed to get him away from the line then that is what we are trained to do. Again, it's your opinion as to whether or not that is legal.

I agree with you that the senior officers who made the decisions on the day have a lot to answer for, especially as the officers who have used force - as per training - in order to facilitate those orders are being hung out to dry.

anon 1555. grow up. No one is claiming the Nuremberg defence because no one is accused of committing fucking genocide, or even anything remotely close to it. As a disciplined service we are required by law to follow lawful orders, if those orders are in line with established caselaw and training then we have no excuse to refuse them and to do so would mean committing a criminal offence of misconduct or malfeasance, especially if it can be directly linked that refusing to carry out those orders had some kind of negative effect such as serious injury or damage.

Clovis - I never said the tactic of dispersing people instead of containing them was a good one, I just said it was a tactical option. I have seen countless decisions made by people no where near the frontline that we have all thought were ridiciulous, but they are making the decisions based on considerably more information than we have and ultimately they are the ones who should answer for mistakes that are made. Especially if we either suffer injury or have to use force which causes injury in order to facilitate those orders.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Met
You, as usual, knee-jerk jump, leap and soar to the giddy heights of violent utter fantasy.
Nobody said 'genocide'.

The 'Nurmberg Defense'.

I'll spell it out for you.

Someone 'gives you an order' - for example to wade into a group of unarmed and peaceful protesters as happened time and again at the G20 - You carry out this order, and in doing so strike an unarmed man from behind, bring him to the ground whence he dies shotly after.

There is no defence for this kind of brutish, thuggish behaviour neither moral nor lawful.(although you are spluttering away as if to convince intelligent people that there is or that there might be).

The 'Nurmberg Defence' has come to be understood as the defence of "I was only obeyin' orders" - or as you put it - we were only doing what we were trained to do.

That is not actually a lawful defence for ANYthing these days. The defendants at the Nurmberg trial were disallowed it, and the precedent stands yet.

You have a human being duty and imperative to refuse such orders.

Is it clearer now?

Anonymous said...

Why are there not mass May Day demos in London this year?
It all seems to be happening in Brighton

Metcountymounty said...

anon 0511. Four very simple question for you.

1) have you had any criminal law training beyond a law degree?

2) have you ever worked as a Police officer or sat through all the training we get?

3) have you ever worked as a solicitor practising in criminal law?

4) are you now or ever have been a judge?

If you honestly can answer yes to any of those, then I strongly suggest you get some updated material to read on the subject matter. If the answer to all of those is no as I suspect, then you actually don't know what you're talking about, irrespective of how intelligent you are.

Anonymous said...

mr. Met,
I only asked you one. Is it any clearer?
never mind

I get it.

Anonymous said...

MCM: You write: "it is your opinion, and it is just an opinion, that the orders and subsequent actions were illegal."

This is correct. And the proper place to decide the matter is in a court of law. Courts exist to interpret the law and decide guilt from innocence. It is sad that you don't understand this and the need to separate this function, the juridical one, from the two other vital functions of any legitimate state: the legislative and the executive. Constitutional government depends upon the separation of all three.

I am growing tired of debating this with you. If you cannot understand my posts, or read them with proper care, you need only reflect for yourself to see how your liberty is threatened by the unity of all three branches under your truncheon. But if that is not sufficient, consult a constitutional lawyer. I have stuff to do. It doesn't include arguing with hired criminal thugs who, full of all the arrogance of an oppressive state, and like all the best criminals, cannot even conceive of his own criminality no matter how prolific the evidence before his eyes.

Just look at the shot of Tomlinson's head, carrying a highly visible and horrific bruise, and ask yourself how the institution you are defending can have lied to the public so venally about the cause of death, concealing from the public it serves information available in the first postmortem vital to the public interest. Ask yourself why dutiful servants of the public in a democracy, if they are doing nothing more or less than their duty, must lie. In relection of that detail alone you will stumble upon your epiphany.

I confess I haven't even read the remainder of your post. I'm sorry about that. I'm off to protest. Be well.

Anon 10:15

blueknight said...

anon 05.11
The 'Nuremberg' defence of 'only obeying orders' was used by the Nazi war criminals who tried to blame everything on Hitler, who had committed suicide earlier and was never tried in Court. Such a defence could have been a valid one, but in Nuremberg there was plenty of evidence that showed that the defendants were acting on their own initiative.

Anonymous said...


Reading from 1st post to last MCM and Really Fit appear to be the only persons writing posts with good knowledge from both sides, everyone else seems to argue in order to get their 2 cents across.

It is clear that there will always be a degree of conflictiion where interests are concerned in this debate however derogatory comments are childish in this environment.

MCM has raised some very good points, public order training is voluntary and intense, there is no payment for it and it is completed to a high standard.

Every person who has posted has a different understanding/knowledge of the law.

I resent the comments that 'police killed tomlinson' - these comments are immature are no warranted.

I do believe that a lot of the anti-police comments are comical as you are blinkered to believe that police officers live on G20/football/tamil/EDO etc when as soon as the day is over they go back to protecting members of the public, improving communities and detecting crime.

No person liberty is threatened by the police.......How often do you get a baton strike when you are not protesting?


Quite simply, you protest peacefully we all go home happy. You cause mindless damage, obstruct the highway and enter premises' as trespassers then you will be dealt with by the law. It's not rocket science.

We should all know the difference between right and wrong by now.............I do my job, whats yours?

Clovis said...

"when as soon as the day is over they go back to protecting members of the public, improving communities and detecting crime."

suggesting that at demos they aren't protecting members of the public, improving communities or detecting crime.

Really Fit said...

"Quite simply, you protest peacefully we all go home happy. You cause mindless damage, obstruct the highway and enter premises' as trespassers then you will be dealt with by the law. It's not rocket science."

Obstructing the highway is legitimate for protest under European law. Police in the UK are bound by this, but frequently ignore it.

Trespassing has only been a crime for a relatively short period. Historically, it was a civil offence, and you could not be arrested for it. It is seen in many countries and cultures as a legitimate form of protest.

'Mindless damage' is rarely that. It is usually well focussed on the targets in hand. Such as RBS, a bank which has shown that money (and property) are really all they care about. Not people. Not ethics. Not common decency. So why is giving them a few broken windows such a bad thing?

None of this should be dealt with by the law. It should be dealt with by politicians who should stop treating protest with contempt. The police should stop taking sides and go home.

Of course, they wont. They will keep taking the money and doing their masters bidding. And then wonder why the protesters are so nasty to them.

Anonymous said...

"Curiously, while Cowlin's shoulder number should be CO5466, here he appears to be modelling CO5456."

Er, no he doesn't. It quite clearly shows CO5466.

If you can't get a small fact like that correct, how can the rest of your site be trusted?

You really do need to learn about getting your facts right.

Clovis said...

anonymous 0034

perhaps you should read the comments before posting: this issue was addressed by comments including mine of 21 april at 1502.

Anonymous said...

Are you people really so thick you can't see that's a 6?!?!?