'Too many don't know how to police': Ex-officer condemns colleague who shouted 'Free Palestine'

18 May 2021, 16:13

By Fiona Jones

This former Metropolitan Police officer condemned a young officer for shouting "Free Palestine" during a London protest, insisting "under no circumstances" should this be allowed.

A Metropolitan Police officer is being investigated by a professional standards team after being filmed chanting "Free Palestine" during a demonstration.

A video posted online shows the female officer interacting with the pro-Palestine protesters, with users questioning whether she should have been expressing political views while on duty.

Recently retired police officer Alan told Shelagh, "You've been talking about the situation with the police officer dancing down the Mall and you have the Pride marches...you've got different situations there: you've got celebrations and then you've got demonstrations.

"We remain neutral...it's not a public order tactic, you stand your ground and you remain neutral at all times," Alan said, responding to claims her involvement and appeasement of the crowd could have been a calculated move.

"It's very difficult sometimes, but that's why you're there and that's what you're trained to do."

He continued: "Unfortunately we've now got a situation where police officers are wearing uniforms in the street after six weeks' training. Does that six weeks' training train them to be out there standing in demonstrations? Does it train them to do all the other things that a police officer's got to do?

"I was there and I did it for 18 weeks and I still didn't get all the training. It's an absolute nonsense what the Commissioner's talking about with regards to training, there's too many people now on the street that don't know how to police because they've not been trained properly.

"I despair for the people of London."

Alan said his partner, who is still a serving police officer, is in "complete agreement" over this as these actions make it much harder for them to do their jobs.

"That officer needs to be looked at as far as a gross misconduct offence and if they were taken to a board...I'm sorry, but I wouldn't have any issue with her being sacked," Alan said.

A spokesman for the force said its internal Directorate of Professional Standards is investigating what happened.

They said: "We are aware of a video that has been posted on social media which shows an officer joining in with chanting while on duty at a demonstration.

"While officers are encouraged to positively engage with those attending demonstrations, they know they are not to actively participate or adopt political positions. This is vital to ensuring the public have confidence in our officers.

"The Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and are investigating the full circumstances of this incident and to determine what further action is appropriate."