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A chat with London's police commissioner

Posted by justinfenton
  • Friday, 6 November 2009 at 03:37 pm
I sat down this morning with Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Department, for a rare one-on-one interview. Stephenson commands a force of 34,000 officers and more than 50,000 total staff, and is responsible for areas of law enforcement that in America might be handled by federal or other authorities.

I will post later tonight, after touring Manchester's Moss Side with the Xcalibre gang unit, but generally, Stephenson said he was "pleased, not delighted," about crime reductions in London while discussing an uptick in gun incidents and his agency's efforts to tackle youth gangs. He also talked, with some depth, about a recent controversy in which he ordered specialized units to stop armed patrols in high crime areas. The Metropolitan police force is not armed other than a very small number of special initiatives (representing less than 500 officers), and he wants to keep it that way. It's the will of the public and of the police officers themselves, he said. The unit that was carrying out the patrols are used to carrying weapons and didn't realize the gravity of the situation, he said.

At the end of our chat, he told me to pass along that he wished well for Baltimore officers.

Comments

Ooh Matron.
ron_broxted wrote:
Friday, 6 November 2009 at 04:08 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. Officers? They don't hold commissions in the armed forces. The idea of anything like a fair fight fills them with dread. No armed police? What colour is the sky on your planet. Did you ask Steve-o about the firearms carried in each patrol car?
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