"The chair of the police watchdog conducting a criminal inquiry into the death of Ian Tomlinson faced fresh criticism today after it emerged he was wrong to say there was "no CCTV footage" in the area where the alleged assault took place.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said today that Nick Hardwick had been mistaken when he said there were no security cameras around Royal Exchange Passage, the area where a policeman was shown in private video footage striking Tomlinson with a baton and pushing him to the ground."
Like many of you I found the assertion that there were no CCTV camera in the area strange considering that so many of the world's surveillance cameras are in the UK and that a capital in which the average resident's image is captured 300 times a day should have a blind spot in so strategic an area. Obviously, being an investigator for the IPCC precludes such mundane chores as actually checking what the police tell you.
After a quick search on Google Maps I found the image you see above which shows the corner of Threadneedle St and the Royal Exchange Passage where the assault on Tomlinson took place. If you zoom into the area just above the red bus and slightly to the right you will see at least one, quite possibly two CCTVs. I find it hard to believe given the seriousness of the operation to police the G20 summit that these resources were not brought into play during the day.
Even stranger that none of those investigating the death of Tomlinson and the 120 other complaints made against the police during that day bothered to actually wander the streets there or even more simply have a look on the internet.
The only good thing that has come out of this whole, sad charade is that the more the police and the IPCC try to wiggle out of their responsibilities the worse it becomes in terms of public opinion.
Sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry with the latest developments in the Ian Tomlinson case. For those who do not know Tomlinson died just minutes after being assaulted by police during the G20 summit meeting in London at the beginning of the month. Since then the London Metrpolitan Police have mounted a cover up campaign that has, thankfully, been carried out with Keystone Cop efficiency. Silence, evasion, misdirection and stonewalling have characterised their approach to the case. In addition the Independent Police Complaints Commission have just added to the farce surrounding the death.
At first the police failed to mention any connection between their officers and the death of the unfortunate 47 year - old newspaper seller. Then, when footage came out on the Guardian website showing the assault they attempted to get the video pulled. If that was not enough the IPCC said that there was no CCTV coverage of the event, only to have that absurd claim (we're talking about the heart of London, home to more surveillance camera than virtually anywhere else on Earth) debunked by photographic evidence taken on the day. In addition just four of the dozen or so officers present during the attack have come forward.
With more than 120 official complaints about police violence during the summit pending the latest revelation of a police officer assaulting a woman during a vigil in honour of Ian Tomlinson is just another nail in the coffin of the police's reputation.
JULIET: Chain me with roaring bears; Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house, O'er-cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones, With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls; Or bid me go into a new-made grave And hide me with a dead man in his shroud; Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble; And I will do it without fear or doubt,