David Mery to question Sir Ian Blair about false arrests of innocent Londoners etc. after the July 7th 2005 bombs

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David Mery. who was falsely arrested and had his home searched last Jully 2005, although entirely innocent, is due to ask the Commisioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Ian Blair a Question on this Thursday 25th May 2006, at a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority

A meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) will be held in meeting room 1 (ground floor), 10 Dean Farrar Street, London SW1 on Thursday 25 May 2006 at 10.00 a.m.

The public and the media are allowed to attend, but space is obviously limited..
The nearest Tube station is St. James' Park - see the MPA location map

David Mery's Question and the Proposed Response:

‘To be a Londoner these days is to feel one is considered guilty until proven innocent. The overreaction of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to the horrific terrorist attacks of last July has resulted in many innocent Londoners suffering from the long-term effects of having been arbitrarily detained and/or arrested. Another consequence of this worsening policing of London is intimidation, increased mistrust and even fear of the MPS. This has not enhanced our security, to the contrary.

What is the MPA doing to ensure that police powers are more balanced and checked so they are not further abused against innocents Londoners? Is the MPA actively consulting with the innocent Londoners that have been arrested and released without further action? What actions are taken by the MPA so that Londoners can stop being paranoid about which aspect of our behaviour or clothing, or which picture we take will be used as an excuse for detainment, arrest or shooting by the MPS? How does the MPA plan to restore trust in the police?’

There is already a Proposed Response to this Question:

“The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) is fully committed to the principle of innocence until proven guilty. The MPA is also acutely aware of the need to strike a balance between robust counter-terrorist policing, the protection of fundamental civil liberties, and the maintenance of public trust and confidence in the police.

"The MPA does not consider the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to have overreacted to the horrific terrorist attacks which killed 52 innocent people in London on 7 July 2005 and the attempted bombings a fortnight later. The MPS responded with the seriousness that these acts of indiscriminate murder demanded. Notwithstanding the tragic death of Jean-Charles de Menezes on 22 July 2005, the MPS response in terms of both disaster-management and investigation has drawn respect and recognition from around the world. A MORI survey in September 2005 suggested that 86% of Londoners believe that the MPS responded well to the attacks.

"Recognising the potential which Londoners themselves have to contribute to the safety and security of the capital, the MPA has undertaken to deliver a series of consultative activities in the field of counter-terrorism. The first of these activities was the MPA’s ‘Together Against Terror?’ conference in December 2005, attended by over 150 community members. Planned activities in 2006 include a series of public hearings, focus groups in universities and colleges, and local consultation in all 32 London Boroughs.

"The MPA consults Londoners in order to understand what the public expect from the police. It does then respond to their views. For example, as a result of public feedback, the MPA has secured the agreement of the MPS to publish its statistics on Section 44 (Terrorism Act 2000) stops and searches.

"Separate arrangements, defined by statute, are in place for dealing with public complaints and specific allegations of police misconduct. The MPA works closely with the MPS and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to ensure that complaints against the police are handled properly.

"In counter-terrorism, as in all other fields of policing, the MPA remains committed to securing an effective, efficient and fair police service for all of London’s communities.”

Except of course, that there has been no proper Public Consultation .

The Metropolitan Police Authority "Together Against terror ?" conference, was by invitation only.

less than couple of cherry picked representatives from each of the 32 London Boroughs hardly constitutes even a n amateur opinion poll, let alone a proper Public Consultation.

Hat Tip to On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing via the UKPoliBlog feed for alerting us to this meeting.

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