‘The Met has too often in recent months not got it right' says government adviser Lord Walney

‘The Met has too often in recent months not got it right' says government adviser Lord Walney
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 21/04/2024

- 12:46

The Met has “too often” got it wrong when policing the pro-Palestinian marches in London, according to the Government’s independent adviser on political violence and disruption.

Lord Walney told Camilla Tominey on GB News: “Sir Mark Rowley is an intelligent man who is deeply committed to getting right to what is a difficult situation, but let's be clear, the Met has too often in recent months not got it right.

“What you saw on the screens there was one of the most egregious examples I think of not getting the balance [right].

“I have sympathy of course with the difficult job that police officers have to do to try to keep order and maintain policing on these marches, where there is clearly a threat of things spilling out of control.

“Clearly the officer didn't mean it like that, but it feels deeply sinister to be telling a Jewish man that he looks too openly Jewish to be stood on a street at a particular time and that he’s going to get arrested on demand. That's not okay.

“It gives the lie, of course, to what has always seemed a fairly incredulous claim that these marches are peaceful, that it's fine to walk around, for Jews to walk around central London, there's no sense of threat.”

He added: “There are some Jewish people on the marches, of course, but the experience of the vast majority of Jewish people in the capital and other cities where these marches are happening is that these are threatening events.

“They've been told for months now that they're just making it up by many people but it's actually fine, now that [video] showed that it's not fine and that is not a situation that we should be prepared to accept.

“There is another question mark there therefore over the Met, over the way that they have sought to police these marches and have not been open to the argument so far that actually there is a cumulative sense of threat that the vast majority of the Jewish community, of Jewish people in these cities, have been having to shoulder week after week.

“And yet the Met has not felt necessary thus far to test the new legislation to say actually, ‘no, enough is enough’ either.

“These marches shouldn't be able to go on with the regularity that they currently are.”


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