Society Magazine

Officer Down…and Another…and Another…and Another

Posted on the 19 November 2011 by Minimumcover @minimumcover

There are the incidents we all dread being caught up in and today we saw yet another example of the worst kind.

Officer Down…and another…and another…and another

The frightening events that occurred today in Kingsbury, North London illustrate two things in such a way that not even the most hard-line anti-police elements of our society can dispute.

Firstly it clearly shows the ability of one person with a mind-set to cause injury to do just that despite being outnumbered four-to-one and despite those four people being Police officers with:

  • Sufficient back-up and density of officers for a London location – not one officer for every 140 square miles like on my patch
  • Body armor and sufficient kit (allegedly) to deal with any public order incident not worthy of a specialist public order team
  • Up-to-date training in unarmed defence, threat assessment / management and the use of their baton, incapacitant spray and cuffs
  • Experience of confrontational situations and the speed and clarity of thought that that experience would provide

Secondly it should demonstrate to those who scream “Police Brutality” every time they see more than two officers tackling a drunk, violent, or mad person exactly why this tactic is employed. It is very often the case that four, five or even six people would be necessary to safely detain and control a person intent on escape or assaulting his captors without risk of injury to the officers or their suspect.

This started as a simple Street Disturbance call. I have dealt with two incidents today that fell into exactly the same deployment category and did so on my own, with the nearest back-up being at least 15 minutes away on blue lights.
On being challenged the male became aggressive and threatened officers with a fluorescent light tube, threw a brick through the windscreen of a marked Police BMW and then ran into a butchers shop, grabbing a 12 inch knife before attacking the officers who were attempting to arrest him, stabbing one in the stomach and causing injuries to the other three including a broken hand and other knife related wounds.

The 32 year-old man was eventually arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody at a North London Police Station.

  • No information has been released at this time that suggests that any of the four primary officers involved in this incident were issued with, or had access to Taser.
  • There is no information available that suggests that Taser was utilised in the eventual detention of the suspect.
I would be keen to hear from anyone who can confirm whether or not this was the case?

It would be easy (and justifiable) to start shouting about the routine arming of all Police officers. I am a supporter of this and a believer that it will happen within my service.
However I am realistic about what might be considered acceptable (to Government, Police Authorities and the public) as an alternative to handing out a Glock or a G36 to everyone with a uniform.
I believe that, had Taser been available, it would have reduced the risk to those officers by increasing their tactical options and the physical distance possible between officer and suspect. It therefore follows that this incident may have been resolved with significantly less injury as a result. This is not a guarantee of course, but a carefully considered opinion.

Let us hope that the investigation proceeds quickly and thoroughly and that we see justice handed down for the crimes that have been committed.

Let us hope that the officers who were injured today make a full and speedy recovery, feel strong enough to return to their posts in the near future and are allowed to do so without unnecessary hounding and scandal hunting by the National Press and other related Media.

Let us hope that those that would attempt to blame the Police for causing this incident have the decency to keep their thoughts to themselves until the facts are known and the questions have been answered.

Finally, I have to say that, had this incident occurred in my area, or anywhere where officer numbers are significantly smaller than those in the London Boroughs, I honestly believe that I would be writing a post about an officer being killed in the line of duty. It is pure chance that there were sufficient officers in the right place at the right time (on this occasion) to detain this offender without a fatality.

There was nothing out of the ordinary about this incident…it could have happened anywhere.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog