If you live in the UK, you will probably have heard of the death of Ian Tomlinson; if you live in London, you can't have avoided hearing about it. If you are domiciled outside these islands, you can watch him die here
, and read about the thug in uniform who was morally responsible for his death here
The Metropolitan Police have now apologised unreservedly
for the whole sorry affair, something they do but rarely. They have also reached an out-of-court settlement with the victim's family which will involve paying them
an undisclosed sum.
While we all appreciate the humble pie, the taxpayer has footed the bill for everything, including the trial of PC Simon Harwood. If the police pension fund were to be held financially responsible for this sort of thuggery and unprofessional behaviour, we would see far fewer such incidents.
If the death of Ian Tomlinson can be described as an unfortunate incident, the murders of an eight year old girl and her ten year old brother by their father was totally avoidable.
In December 2011, Jean Say was given a life sentence
with a 30 year tariff for the double murder. He committed it as an act of revenge against his estranged wife. Afterwards he phoned her and said "I have killed your children. Come and get the bodies."
Later, it came to light that his estranged wife had accused him of rape, an allegation that was to all intents and purposes ignored. The police officer concerned, Detective Sergeant David Blackbrow, has received a written warning
for failing to review the records relating to the case.
Allegations of this nature are often he said/she said, and can be vexatious in cases like this, and clearly the resulting double murder was unthinkable at the time it was made. Nevertheless it is also clear from the available evidence that something went terribly wrong, though ultimately the only person responsible is Say himself.
It has indeed been a bad week for the boys in blue, and it's only Wednesday!