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NEWS:Call to disband Met riot police over mistrust

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#1 OFFLINE   kenworthy


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:07 am

A former London mayoral candidate has called for the Metropolitan Police's riot squad to be disbanded because of young people's mistrust of it.Green Party Assembly Member Jenny Jones said the Territorial Support Group (TSG) acts like a "paramilitary body".
Ms Jones, deputy chair of the police and crime committee, suggests the money saved by scrapping the TSG should be spent on better police riot training.
The unit's commander said it was working to engage young people.
Chief Supt Mark Bird said Ms Jones's recommendation to the mayor would leave London without a round-the-clock response to critical incidents such as murders.
In Ms Jones' report, The Kids are All Right: How the Metropolitan Police can gain the trust of young Londoners, she recommends ways to improve confidence in the force.
'Think they are special`
She writes: "The Met should scrap the TSG and use that funding to train a greater number of police officers for public order situations.
"If the mayor is unwilling to call for this he should prioritise youth training for TSG officers."

About the TSG
  • Created in 1987 to replace the Special Patrol Group
  • A high level of fitness is required
  • Applicants must be recommended by a senior officer
  • The unit claims it can fully train and deploy officers in any new skill within five weeks
  • The TSG can respond to chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear incidents
Source: Metropolitan Police
She also suggests more school visits and youth training for officers.
The TSG, set up 25 years ago, is tasked with tackling terrorism, providing an immediate response to disorder and reducing priority crime.
Speaking to BBC London, Ms Jones said: "They think they are incredibly special.
"That generates a feeling that they can do things differently from other police officers.
"If you see police acting like some sort of paramilitary body I think it is bad for the police."
Janette Collins who runs The Crib, a youth project in Hackney, said: "The reason why young people don't trust the TSG is that there's so much different policing in London they don't understand the policing.
"When they call the TSG out to come and deal with an incident in an area they just come along, rush in, rough everybody up and then [they are] out the area again.
"That leaves the safer neighbourhood team to have to pick up the pieces, which is unfair."
Posted ImageThe TSG said youth engagement activities had been increased to tackle "perception" problems
TSG commander Mr Bird said the unit had a "perception problem".
"It is this notion that we do the work and move out when in reality the TSG is spread across 32 boroughs.
"Twelve percent of our time is spent dealing with disorder and riots, the rest is in supporting the boroughs."
He said a community reference group was set up last year to look at perception, recruitment, selection and complaints.
He said between 2008 and 2012 there had been a 50% decrease in the number of complaints made against the TSG.
I do not mistrust them, mostly because I have not broken the laws they enforce. I get thou the funny feeling this bunch calling for the scrapping of a Police department, would like to see the whole Force disbanded. 
"'Think they are special`" They sort of are. 

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#2 OFFLINE   morek54



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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:31 pm

Jenny Jones is always good for a laugh.  She is but a fringe politician, with little or no clout in the big scheme of things, who comes across as ever so slightly potty.  Bless her.  But her ramblings are often classic comedy.  Or probably would be if the Police related issues she latches on to, no doubt in order to elevate her profile, weren't such serious issues in the first place.  I wondered what had happened to her - she's been quiet of late.  But then I realised why she's back...  The Pantomime season is over...

Edited by morek54, 08 January 2013 - 01:31 pm.

#3 OFFLINE   Anna32



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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:46 pm

The TSG do a fair bit more than 'riot policing', but never mind. Stuff like terrorism evacuation planning and Nuclear attack response probably isn't fluffy enough or relevant to the 'youth'. It's almost like Jenny Jones doesn't know anything about policing! (And honestly, it's a handwringingly nonsensical statement to begin with, even if the Met did have hundreds of officers with lots of spare time.)

#4 OFFLINE   kpeter20



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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:21 pm

I would suggest that they are robust for a reason, hope it continues that way. What do people want, fluffy teddy bear cops to work hand in hand with the total lack of parenting of some people we happen across?

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