Too Quick to judge

I HAD intended to write (and in fact had finished writing a piece) blasting senior Tories for creating a situation where it was felt justifiable to leak or to publish details of Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick’s home address. Quick is in charge of the police investigation into Tory MP Damian Green.

Indeed, the cynical bullying of the police by David Cameron and Dominic Grieve is something I have previously warned against.

However, within seconds of publishing my diatribe – based entirely on the BBC website story – Carolyn told me she had heard a radio report suggesting he had withdrawn his criticism of the Tory Party. So the status of my original post was quickly converted from “published” to “draft”.

AC Quick claimed that the publishing of his home address and the bullying of his officers – including, I presume, the prejudgment of the enquiry – were somehow linked. Yet according to the Mail on Sunday, Quick’s home address was included in an advertisement for the wedding car hire firm run from his home.

Most visitors to this site know my view: that prejudgment of the inquiry, the assumption that Damian was arrested simply for carrying out his duties as an MP, is premature and, until we know the police’s conclusions, unjustified.

Yet this latest episode has hardly cleared the water – just made a complicated and controversial story even more so, on both counts.

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12 Comments

Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Media, Politics

12 responses to “Too Quick to judge

  1. Bob Jones

    Clearly the man is not fit for much. Perhaps Police Commissioner of the island of Sark or something, but certainly nothing involving Britain’s biggest police force … might be best for him to focus solely on the trumped-up taxi service!

    He accused the Tories for political reasons, based on little evidence; much like the entire Green affair it seems.

  2. John

    He should be immediately removed from the investigation. It matters little whether he’s retracted his comments or not, what’s said is said, and it could never in a million years have been said by a person in his position.

    It’s an absolute disgrace. I mean, the lead investigator making disgraceful comments about the group his suspect is a member of. Accusing them of corruption? Yes, i’m sure that investigation will be fair and impartial. Worry not Damian Green……….

    I see no difference between this and a police officer making a racist statement while investigating someone of an ethnic minority background of a crime. In that case the officer would be removed so quickly his feet wouldn’t touch the ground, and so should it be in this case.

    I also see absolutely nothing wrong with the behaviour of the Tory party on this whole issue either. The police were always going to get flack after the way they behaved. Compare it with the “Cash for Honours” investigation. How many MP’s offices were searched then? NONE? Really? Yet the police went in all guns blazing with this one? Makes you wonder doesn’t it…..

  3. //However, within seconds of publishing my diatribe – based entirely on the BBC website story – Carolyn told me she had heard a radio report suggesting he had withdrawn his criticism of the Tory Party.//

    Not strictly true, Tom. He’s withdrawn the charge of the Tories acting corruptly that’s all:

    “I regret and wish to retract my comment regarding corruption. The comment was made as I was in the act of having to move my family out of our home to a place of safety following the article in today’s Mail on Sunday.”

    He made a number of other charges against the Tories, not specifically about the Mail article, and still apparently plans to brief his solicitor tomorrow.

  4. Paul Williams

    However, within seconds of publishing my diatribe – based entirely on the BBC website story…

    That was your first mistake, it gets pointed out to you on a regular basis the BBC is biased and indeed the BBC site still hasn’t run the whole quote of what Bob Quick said. He accused the Tories of being corrupt.

    Do you really think this is appropiate language that should be used by a senior Anti-terror chief, who’s not only supposed to be impartial, but also not throw about wild and baseless accusations, especially while an inquiry is still ongoing.

    He’s just added, at a stroke, to the suspicion that Damien Green’s arrest had less to do with the upholding the law and everything to do with the politicalisation of the Met by Labour.

  5. Johnny Norfolk

    From the outbursts of this top policeman it does not fill you with any confidence about him, I think he needs some gardening leave.

  6. Why is he moving his family?
    What on earth is he worried about?

  7. Johnny Norfolk

    Reading what he has said, it comes over to me that he sees himself as an arm of the labour government and the Tories are his opposition. I bet he is a strong Labour supporter and part of a group in the Met of senior police that have strong support from Labour.
    The open support for Labour by some of our top police is shocking.

  8. Mr. Charlie

    We all owe a vote of gratitude to Bob Quick, for confirming in public what many have suspected for some time – that the police force is bounden to New Labour.

    Thanks Bob! Pretty stupid for someone with so high a rank, you would have to say.

  9. Mr. Charlie

    Another thing – why is it impossible to get the police out to a robbery any more, when they can spare anti-terrorist officers for show arrests? Exactly who do they work for?

    (Hint – answer in post above)

  10. richard

    I heartily agree with David Davis that it would be sensible to find someone else to head up the investigation.

    There’s simply no way that he can run an unbiased enquiry while simultaneously spouting off to the press about suing everyone involved…

  11. Jane

    I think his statement was unbecoming of someone holding his rank. He would have been better going through ACPO if he had felt aggrieved. I am pleased that he was not shortlisted for the Commissioner’s job after such an outburst.

    It does seem that errors were made in the search of the parliamentary office and arrest of Damian Green. Mr Quick was responsible for the arrest and elected not to seek advice from the DPP. No doubt the independent report conducted by the Head of the British Transport Police has raised this.

    This outburst points to Mr Quick being under pressure. It also suggests that he is unfit to lead the enquiry into whether Damian Green has committed a criminal offence. No doubt those in charge of the Met Police will decide on all issues surrounding his position. We will need reassurance regarding his role in protecting us from terrorism.

    Unlike you Tom, I do not consider that Dominic Grieve nor David Camerons’ words has in any way jeopardised the investigation. It was right and proper for them to ask the questions they did and all appeared to me to be within the law. The letter from the Met was partial quoting certain sections from PACE to support their actions and was pulled apart in the legal press. Many of Dominic Grieve’s questions related to the House Authorities, police powers and the process regarding the arrest – not the arrest itself. Sadly, we saw a lack of leadership from the Speaker, the Leader of the House and the Home Secretary in this matter. All of them hid behind legal jargon which was wrong. Dominic Grieve knew this – he is a better lawyer and would never compromise on such matters.

    Upholding of the law, civil liberties is not a party political matter. However, we also have rights to criticise particularly regarding proportionality. It is also time that police were discipined regarding leaks to the press about prominent arrests. Reputations can be seriously damaged particularly when no criminal charges are made. Following on from that, I am bitterly disappointed that the Home Office has back tracked on directly elected police authorities. This would have ensured community involvement. The present make up of authorities ensures that all like minded people are sitting and the notion of independent membership is laughable. Another debate……….

  12. richard

    This whole affair has been a gargantuan cock-up from start to ignominious finish.

    That anyone in the police thought that arresting a prominent front bench opposition spokesman was going to end well beggars belief, the speaker lost control and Jacqui Smith’s attempt to deny knowledge showed that either the police were out of control or that she was ill-informed.

    Bungled.

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