Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Stockwell 1 - the recommendations

Stockwell 1 - the recommendations

INDEPENDENT POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION News Release issued by The Government News Network on 8 November 2007

Stockwell 1 - the recommendations

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) made 16 recommendations for change to the police service as a result of the Stockwell investigation. These recommendations were addressed to HMIC, Home Office, ACPO and the MPS.

In drawing up these recommendations the IPCC has worked closely with Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC.) The recommendations were:

POLICE USE OF FIREARMS

Command & control

1] Concern

Despite Commander DICK making it clear she was in command of all aspects of the firearms operation there remains the potential for confusion between the respective roles of Gold, Silver and Designated Senior Officer.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing policy and guidance in relation to the command and control of firearms operations to ensure there is absolute clarity of role and responsibility within the chain of command, particularly when a Designated Senior Officer is deployed. This should include deployments conducted under the auspices of Operations Kratos and Operation C.

2] Concern

Despite being appointed as the Designated Senior Officer, the strategic briefing chaired by Commander MCDOWALL commenced before Commander DICK's arrival due to inaccurate information being provided to her regarding the location of where the briefing was to be held.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing guidance and practice to ensure Gold, Silver and Bronze commanders have a clear and common understanding of the circumstances surrounding future firearms operations, the overall strategy and the key tactical options under consideration.

3] Concern

No formal recording was made of any of the briefings prior to the deployment of firearms and surveillance officers. Thereafter there was no audio recording of what was communicated within the Operations Room. Such recordings would have provided an audit trail regarding the information that was received by the room and the decisions that were then transmitted. Some staff working in the Operations Room expressed concerns regarding the noise generated within it and how that may have affected its effectiveness.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing practice to ensure that at a corporate level robust and appropriate facilities and mechanisms exist to maintain the effective command and control of future operations of a similar nature. Particular attention should be paid to ensuring that key briefings, strategic and tactical decisions are fully recorded or documented and in any event capable of audit.

4] Concern

The strategy set by the Gold Commander was not implemented. The strategy made it clear that all persons leaving Scotia Road would be stopped either as suspects or as potential intelligence sources. Six persons left the flats before Mr De Menezes. Due to insufficient resources being in place, none were stopped.

Recommendation HMIC

To review the existing mechanisms and policy for ensuring that sufficient and robust channels of communication exist that provide commanders with 'real-time' updates on intelligence, operational and resourcing issues that could adversely impact the successfully implementation of the overall strategic parameters and the identified tactical options and that robust procedures are in place to ensure that the necessary fast-time action is taken in the early stages of an incident to achieve this.

5] Concern

There was no threat assessment and the risk assessments undertaken for this operation did not consider the risk of misidentification or uncertainty regarding the identification of a suspect. The assessment did not consider a suspect leaving the premises before firearms resources were in place.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing procedures and training for carrying out assessments for operations of this nature incorporating lessons learnt from this incident

Operational considerations

6] Concern

There was a substantial delay between the time the firearms team were requested and when they were deployed. By the time Mr De Menezes left Scotia Road at 09:33hrs CO19 officers were still not in place despite being initially requested at 05:05hrs.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing policy and practice to ensure that when, in pursuance of an armed operation, it is necessary to stop or otherwise detain potential subjects of a surveillance operation appropriate firearms support is in place to expedite a prompt and safe resolution of the encounter.

7] Concern

There was a lack of clarity about the command to 'stop' the suspect given the likely mindset of the firearms officers. They were deployed on an anti terrorist operation the day after unsuccessful attempts were made to cause explosions within the underground system. They had been issued with special ammunition. They knew a Designated Senior Officer was in command.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing policy and guidance to ensure absolute clarity exists in the use of operationally specific terminology. Particular attention is to be paid to ensuring the terminology used for deployments under the auspices of Operations Kratos and Operation C are entirely consistent with the common language of command for regular firearms deployments in response to serious crime operations.

SURVEILLANCE OPERATIONS

8] Concern

The S012 surveillance team, the CO19 Specialist Firearms Officers and those in command were not used to working together and were not sufficiently familiar with each others working practices.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing policy and operational capability in relation to the deployment of surveillance teams on firearms operations to ensure that deployment fully complements and supports rapid armed intervention should such subsequently become necessary.

9] Concern

It was only the views of the surveillance team leader that were communicated in relation to the identification of the suspect. The fact that two surveillance officers believed that the person being followed was not the suspect should have been communicated to the Designated Senior Officer as it may have assisted her decision making.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing policy and practice to ensure joint firearms and surveillance operations are fully integrated and that channels exist to ensure salient developments, such as doubts over a target's identity, can be swiftly communicated to relevant strategic and operational commanders.

10] Concern

The completion of the supplementary surveillance log has been proved to involve alterations which changed the meaning of the entry.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing policy and practice to ensure that at a corporate level robust facilities and processes exist to demonstrate the integrity of evidence gathered during the course of surveillance operations. Particular attention should be paid to the continued utility of surveillance logs.

POST INCIDENT MANAGEMENT

11] Concern

The incident was not referred until 15:21hrs on Monday 25 July and until that time the IPCC was prevented from starting an investigation on the instruction of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. The rationale given by the Commissioner for this decision relating to the IPCC's powers and duties was not correct.

At the present time the Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2004 require the police to refer complaints and allegations of misconduct that are subject to mandatory referral (such as death and serious injuries) to the IPCC no later than the end of the working day following the day on which the complaint was made or the conduct came to the attention of the appropriate authority.

Recommendation Home Office

That all mandatory referrals to the IPCC should occur, particularly in the case of death or serious injury, as soon as possible but in any event not later than the end of the day following the following the incident, complaint or misconduct and that the Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2004 should be amended accordingly.

12] Concern

The difference in the treatment of police and civilian witnesses to this incident are not acceptable or justifiable. Members of the public were expected to be interviewed and make statements soon after witnessing a most traumatic incident without being able confer with other witnesses and provide a joint account. The police officers involved were allowed to return to their own base, refresh themselves and confer. This was and is accepted practice.
However, the IPCC has raised its concerns regarding the post incident procedures put in place after other incidents where police firearms are
discharged.

Recommendation HMIC

To review existing guidance and practice to ensure that appropriate and robust mechanisms exist to secure an accurate and auditable record of 'hot' and team/group debriefs.

13] Concern

Officers involved in the incident wrote up their notes together. This is current practice but makes those accounts less credible. Such practices were agreed in the protocol between the police service and the IPCC in July 2004.

Recommendation ACPO

To review efficacy of existing post incident management policy, guidance and practice to ensure an appropriate balance exists between being rightly held to account for one's actions whilst discharging the office of Constable and the rights of the principal officers. Particular attention should be paid to the need to ensure that individual accounts are obtained in a proximate and transparent manner that is consistent with the rules of evidence, the duty of care to staff and the need to secure public confidence. Post-incident procedures should be revised to ensure that officers do not write up their notes together.

COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

14] Concern

Command and control of this incident was inevitably lost when CO19 officers entered the underground. Had there been any update regarding the uncertainty surrounding the identification at this point it would have been impossible to communicate.

Recommendation MPS

That in collaboration with partners in Transport for London and British Transport Police the Metropolitan Police Service undertake to ensure that communications are harmonised and facilitate the command and control of operations conducted within the London Underground network.

TRAINING AND EXERCISES

15] Concern

Events during July 2005 confronted the Metropolitan Police Service with a series of challenges that had not been experienced before. Whilst terrorist attacks on the transport system had been predicted, the MPS relied on the ACPO Firearms manual and the Kratos policy to combat such an attack. It is apparent that more was required. The IPCC wants to ensure that police service and individual police officers have learnt as much as possible from the events of 22 July and have the best possible preparation for dealing with similar situations in future.

Recommendation HMIC
The MPS, HMIC, ACPO, NPIA, Home Office and other relevant agencies should revise planning, exercises and training provided for those involved in anti-terrorist policing to ensure such processes fully incorporate all the learning from the events of 22 July.

As soon as legal procedures permit, the experience of those officers directly involved, including staff from the IPCC should be fed into those reviews.

COMMUNITY REASSURANCE

16] Concern

The IPCC has noted the positive response given by members of the Community Reference Group and other community representatives to the steps taken by the then Lambeth Borough Commander and other statutory bodies to provide community reassurance in the aftermath of all the events in July 2005. The IPCC witnessed some of this at first hand. We commend Chief Superintendent Martin BRIDGER and his officers for an excellent job facing the communities directly, listening to their concerns and seeking to restore their confidence. It was reported to us that this had been achieved as a result of the community police liaison arrangements.

Recommendation HMIC

The good practice in place in Lambeth which ensured effective community reassurance should be noted by the MPS and HMIC. Steps should be taken to ensure that where appropriate, this good practice is replicated in other BCUs.

* The recommendations can be found in the IPCC report 'Stockwell One Investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell underground station on 22 July 2005.' The report can be found at
http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/index/resources/evidence_reports/investigation_reports/ipcc_resources_stockwellone.htm

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The judicial review citation: * In the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division Administrative Court - The Queen on the application of Independent Police Complaints Commission and Assistant Commissioner Hayman and 1) PC Bell 2) PC Wakeling 3) Anthony Housedon 4) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

The IPCC has overall responsibility for the police complaints system. Since April 2006 it has taken on responsibility for similar, serious complaints against HM Revenue and Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency in England and Wales.

The IPCC has the task of increasing public confidence in the complaint systems and aims to make investigations more open, timely, proportionate and fair.

The 16 Commissioners who run the IPCC guarantee its independence and by law can never have served as police officers. No Commissioner has worked for HM Revenue and Customs. They are supported by more than more than 200 independent IPCC investigators, casework managers and other specialists.

Since April 1 2004 the IPCC has used its powers to begin 171 independent and 533 managed investigations into the most serious complaints against the police. It has set new standards for police forces to improve the way the public's complaints are handled. The Commission also handles appeals by the public about the way their complaint was dealt with by the local force.

The IPCC is committed to getting closer to the communities it serves. Its Commissioners and staff are based in IPCC regional offices in Cardiff, Coalville, London and Sale plus a sub office in Wakefield.

The IPCC web site is constantly updated at http://www.ipcc.gov.uk or members of the public can contact the IPCC on 08453 002 002.

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