Bernard Hogan Howe was supposed to be a safe pair of hands after Sir Paul Stephenson was allowed to resign in disgrace over corruption charges (pension intact, natch). But Bernie got ideas above his station: he was more than just a seat-warmer. Bernard came up with a hard sounding catchphrase – Total Policing – and set about turning the Metropolitan Police Force into a right bunch of bastards.
The last four Police Commissioners of the Metropolis have left office in disgrace (would you buy shares in a company whose last four CEOs had left in disgrace?), but we think Bernard has been especially bad, and should be given the old heave-ho before he gets the chance to resign or retire.
Already in his short time in office, Bernard has presided over a police force responsible for: 42 senior rotten apples helping criminals get away with murder; pressing ahead with water cannon, despite everybody telling them it’s a terrible idea; Plebgate; paramilitary policing; the brutality of the response to the student protests; turning London’s campuses into a war zone; throwing rape reports in the bin; institutional racism (still); racially abusing detainees; your being 29 times more likely to be stopped and searched if you don’t have white skin; and causing the London riots by shooting Mark Duggan, lying about it, and acting like a criminal gang in uniform.
Bernard’s sacking could be a clean slate – a chance for the Met to shape up and calm down. What is unquestionable is that the entire police force is in urgent need of reform. No-one’s perfect world should feature a police force: to start moving towards a world without them, we need to hold the current cadre to account.
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