HSE to prosecute police commissioner

The
HSE says it is to prosecute the Metropolitan Police commissioner and his
predecessor for alleged safety breaches.

Sir
John Stevens and previous commissioner, Lord Condon, are being prosecuted for
breaches of section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, after
incidents in which officers fell through roofs while chasing suspects.

The
HSE said the prosecution follows a lengthy investigation into whether the
Metropolitan Police sufficiently protected officers from the dangers of falling
from, or through, roofs while apprehending suspects.

PC
Kulwant Sidhu died after falling through a glass panel while chasing two
suspects in 1999, and in 2000, PC Mark Berwick was injured after falling
through a roof at Gresham Road in Neasden, north-west London.

The
maximum penalty in a magistrates court for the alleged offences is a £20,000
fine, while in a crown court, it is an unlimited fine. The first court hearing
is set for 8 May at City of London Magistrates Court.

By Quentin Reade

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