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Independence of policing the Chinese state visit

Blog post   •   Oct 23, 2015 12:41 BST

Reading the papers this morning I was disappointed to see a view by some that the Metropolitan Police Service were working to the bidding of the Chinese to suppress protest.

As a citizen I delight in living in a democratic society and as a Chief Officer I am proud to police in a manner which is reflective of the values, principles and laws of that democratic society. The policing of the state visit was a matter for the Metropolitan Police Service and any other suggestion is wrong.

My team and I have worked tirelessly to facilitate peaceful protest throughout the state visit. At all events this fundamental right to freedom of expression, afforded by the Human Rights Act, was available to everyone. In addition to the need to facilitate peaceful protest, there was a need to ensure a tight security operation for not only the Chinese President and First Lady but also our Royal Family and Prime Minister. It was never an 'either/or' choice.

The assertion that political manipulation of the command team or, indeed, the broader Metropolitan Police took place is wrong and doesn't reflect the facts.