MPS & MPA Annual Report 2005/06

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MPS & MPA Annual Report 2005/06

Bridget
Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

10 Mar 2007, 14:46 #1

Includes this statement from Ian Blair:
The MPS Response to the Terrorist
Attacks of July 2005


At about 8:50am on the 7 July three explosions occurred
on the London Underground within 50 seconds. A fourth
explosion then occurred around an hour later at 9:47am
on a number 30 bus travelling in the Tavistock square
area of central London. These four explosions killed 52
people and left several hundred injured, many seriously.
The response from across the emergency services
brought many acts of bravery, with many officers and
staff performing significantly above and beyond any
normal expectations of their duty. The days following
these attacks were full of uncertainty and concern for
the people of London and the police service was
working at an unprecedented pace, not just in relation to
the ongoing investigation but also in providing
reassurance to the public and helping London to return
to business as usual.
The investigation quickly identified the individuals
suspected of carrying out the attacks. Searches of
premises and vehicles linked to those individuals
uncovered what appeared to be a ‘bomb factory’ and a
number of items that were clearly intended for use as
weapons. Although there were early speculations that
there may have been a fifth bomber, painstaking
research by the investigation team ensured that this
could be ruled out and the inquiry was able to conclude
that all those directly involved had died in the
explosions
. The enquiry into the full circumstances
surrounding the attacks continues.
The second series of attacks on 21 July, whilst
fortunately not leading to loss of life or injury, brought
a huge challenge to the police service, taking place at
a time when police were still heavily engaged
investigating the first incidents.
On the second occasion,
four men, apparently attempting to replicate the horror
of the previous fortnight, detonated four devices on the
public transport network in London. These devices failed
to detonate and led to the largest ever manhunt
undertaken by police in London, across the UK and
internationally.
The search for suspects continued amid understandable,
but challenging media interest and speculation.
Over the following days the investigation continued at
an extreme pace and led to the discovery of a second
bomb factory and the arrest of a series of people,
including one suspect who had fled to Italy. Currently
a number of people await trial for their involvement in
the attacks of 21 July, including the four men who are
believed to have been at the centre of the attacks and a
fifth man who we believe abandoned his device.
Despite these successes, we acknowledge that the
shooting by police of Jean Charles De Menezes at
Stockwell on 22 July, was a tragic loss of the life of
an entirely innocent man. This matter is still under
investigation by the IPCC, but it is essential that
Londoners know that we are doing everything we can to
ensure this does not happen again.
The attacks also placed a large demand on other areas
of the organisation.
Resources Directorate provided excellent operational
support in response to the terrorist attacks in July and
received widespread recognition for the service
provided. For example, the Vehicle Removal and
Examination Services played a pivotal role in the
handling of vehicle removals. They removed the buses
involved in the July terrorist attacks whilst ensuring the
integrity of the crime scene was maintained. Catering
Services provided emergency operational feeding
around London at very short notice and Property
Services provided support to Her Majesty’s Coroner and
London Mortuary arrangements. In addition, the
Property Services computer modeling unit provided full
support to the crime scene investigations. The
Directorate of Information has also provided operational
support including the provision of laser surveying
equipment at Tavistock Square, which supported the
investigation by ensuring the exact position of all objects
relevant to the explosion were recorded before being
removed.

The Safety and Health Risk Management Team visited
all blast sites following the explosions, as well as the
temporary mortuary, mobile interview suites and the
Family Liaison Centre. Where appropriate gas detectors
and temperature monitoring equipment were deployed
and asbestos monitoring was undertaken. Additionally,
the team provided full advisory support to the Gold
Group and other multi-agency forums involved in the
incident. Occupational Health also had a key role in both
the immediate response and the aftercare of officers
and staff deployed to deal with the incidents. On site
visits were carried out to the crime scenes to ensure the
well being of MPS personnel working under very
difficult circumstances. Counselling support was
provided to over 400 officers from a wide spectrum of
experience levels some of which continues.
Family Liaison Officers from across the organisation
worked to support those victims and families who were
affected. The Borough Operational Command Units that
were not directly responding to the bombs were
undertaking extra patrols to reassure the public,
especially members of ethnic minority groups who were
fearful of reprisal attacks.
The new Central Operations business group, formed in
April 2005
to coordinate the work of pan-London
uniformed operational units, played a key planning and
coordinating role in responding to these attacks. The CO
tasking team brought in massive detective and other
specialist resource from around the country to assist SO
with the investigation while the events planning team
organised armed and unarmed reassurance activity
around iconic London sites.
The MPS also arranged for a ‘diamond group’ to be set
up. This group was created to monitor any changes in
community tensions and to act as a communication
conduit to the different communities in London. The
group consisted of a number of people from differing
backgrounds. A workshop was held at the Queen
Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster and was attended by
approximately 300 people. A number of discussions
occurred to determine how:
The MPS could work better with the community
To improve communications with the community
The police could provide an even better service, and
To better engage Londoners (including young
people) in policing matters.
Although those few weeks in the summer of 2005 were
the height of the public awareness of the work of the
Anti-Terrorist Branch and Special Branch, the last 12
months have seen an unprecedented number of
investigations, primarily focused on ensuring that London
remained a hostile environment for terrorist activity.
These investigations have been far reaching and extend
beyond the boundaries of the MPS area. In all cases the
outcomes are the result of considerable liaison with our
key security partners, reinforced with a tremendous level
of resources and personnel from across the MPS and in
many cases other police services across the country.
Although for the interest of public safety we are unable
to publicly discuss details of the cases, police and
security service activity has prevented other attacks
since July 2005. There are also a number of high profile
cases either currently before the courts, or which will
appear during the coming year.
An example of the increase in workload was reflected
in the demands placed upon the Explosives Officers.
They are responsible for attending incidents where
explosive devices are suspected, and they saw an
increase in calls for their services, which exceeded six
times its normal level.
The Centre for Analysis and Targeting (CAT) sits within
Special Branch and has played a key role in developing
and exploiting intelligence, acting as the primary
interface between police and the UK’s intelligence
agencies. The events of July produced a deluge of
information and intelligence, every piece of which had to
be read, assessed and disseminated appropriately. The
research and analysis of the intelligence received has
assisted in enabling police and the Security Service to
prevent further attacks. During July the CAT were also
responsible for the provision of briefing and intelligence
products supplied to Cabinet Office. This information
was the sole product used to update the progress of the
police operation and the exploitation of intelligence.

During the bombings the Directorate of Public Affairs
(DPA) took the communication lead on behalf of the
other blue light services, co-ordinating media contact,
releasing information, running press conferences, and
facilitating interviews and briefings.

Within the ten days following 7 July the Press
Bureau at New Scotland Yard dealt with 8,000
media enquiries
Over 200 press statements were issued between
7 July and 1 August – 27 updates on 7 July alone

25 press conferences and briefings were held
The MPS website received 1.5 million hits on 7 July.
The efforts of the DPA were recognised in November
2005 by the Foreign Press Association when it was
awarded ‘press office of the year’.
MPS & MPA annual report 2005/06
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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