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Should Sir Ian Blair resign?

October 18, 2006
The Metropolitan Police and the service as a whole must now answer many questions, including why and how Jean Charles de Menezes was mistaken to be the outstanding terrorist wanted for the failed bombings after 7/7. The problem is they refuse to answer. Historically, the police service consistently fails to account for issues that affect and are affected by “race” relations and, in my experience, I feel there is little desire inside by those in power to change the structure of the organisation from which they have benefitted. In other words, “race”, for example, is a taboo word; they simply lie about what has and what has not been achieved. Those that follow simply mimic their masters. Sir Ian Blair’s job is difficult, as are the top jobs in all Forces. But the inability of police leaders generally to acknowledge the incompetence of their own staff and the subsequent internal collusion by them to stifle change is the issue that needs tackling. Sacking Sir Ian is not the answer; a cultural and structural overhaul of the police service to get rid of bad culture is what must happen in the long run. Current police leaders are failing race relations badly and there is nothing to hold these people accountable. The death of Stephen Lawrence caused minor changes. The Secret Policeman documentary was quickly forgotten. Even the CRE investigation has not forced change inside. An archaic and ageing system where no one inside down the hierarchy is held accountable, and which favours the selected few inspires only archaic leadership. And archaic leadership will not allow us to deal effectively with modern policing demands, yet our leaders still take us down this same road, thinking only about how they can lie, and their next promotion.
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