The intense spotlight on the Metropolitan Police following the wrongful shooting of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes will not deter people from applying for firearms roles, according to the Met’s human resources chief.
Martin Tiplady told Personnel Today that the Met would carefully examine the findings from last month’s court verdict, which found the force guilty of a breach of health and safety law.
“Inaccurate and unbalanced” briefings given to firearms officers and a failure to provide a clear or timely order that de Menezes should have been stopped or arrested before entering Stockwell Tube station were just two of the 19 errors outlined at the Old Bailey trial. The Met was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay £385,000 in costs.
Yet despite the failings, Tiplady said applications to join the specialist firearms unit CO19 had been unaffected. “Currently, applications to join CO19 are at a high level. There is no reason for us to believe that the level of applications being received will reduce,” he said.
Since July 2005, Tiplady said the Met had carried out a thorough review of its working practice and implemented several changes in light of the shooting. He vowed the force would continue to assess what lessons could be learned. “The force is now carefully examining the judge’s verdict and our review to assess what impact, if any, this has upon the way we deliver in these circumstances for Londoners,” he added.
Officers applying to work in the high-pressure CO19 unit are volunteers, and fully aware of the responsibility that comes with carrying a firearm, Tiplady added.
Met defends PCSO advertising costs
Scotland Yard spent £3,311,164 on advertising and marketing for police community support officers (PCSOs) in 2006-07, official figures have revealed.
The Met said it had recruited 2,500 officers so far, and its campaign would run for another two years, targeting the same number again. This would eventually mean that each PCSO cost £700 in advertising to hire.
A Met spokeswoman insisted the campaign was good value for money, and increasing the numbers of uniformed PCSOs on London’s streets was part of the force’s safer neighbourhoods programme.