Tuesday, 13 October 2009

'ello, 'ello, ello, Manston what's all this then says Kent Police

Mike Fuller the Chief Officer of Kent Police has been making a few enquiries around the questions raised in Kent on Sunday over Manston:

What Police safety procedures are in place at Manston airport in the event of a crash on the water supply?

Mr Fuller: Air travel is one of the safest forms of transport both for passenger and for freight flights. Before an airport is licensed its management have to meet very high safety standards, and their ability to provide these is regularly checked. Kent Police are identified as the lead emergency service and have officers who have specific areas of expertise that enable them to deal with any crisis. Our preparations are built around regular exercises with other emergency services and agencies which test those plans to the limit. As part of that we do prepare for the crash of an aircraft and the contamination of nearby water supplies. The critical role is knowing what to do immediately after any disaster, and the rigorous and repeated testing of our plans means I am confident we can deal with this and other possibilities. We also have the ability to call on extra resources both nationally and internationally if they are needed.

Sounds like a cobblers answer to me given Infratil allowed banned heavy Russian aircraft to land even during the last national security alert, changed the training flight regulations for flights over towns and removed monitors with TDC - and the already polluted water supply. Possibly the approach of “having a digger nearby to scoop up the flaming aircraft and body parts” is typical of Infratil and TDC’s approach to safety.

Or are Kent Police just concerned with securing the site and mopping up the wet bits after an accident? Serco could do that.

More dangerous of course than just a plane crash is the repeated exposure of aviation fuel onto the local population – hence the high rates of cancer in the area. Looks like our councillors and civil servants decided not to put the full safety measures in place to expand the airport as a done deal.

I’m surprised at Kent Police being so slack on this one: I’d have thought airports would be one of the pieces of infrastructure that had coppers over it like a rash. After all, lots of people die when things go wrong. Whether it’s planes crashing, goods being smuggled or even coppers in the area being polluted I’d have thought they’d want to ensure the airport was superbly run to the highest safety standards. With TDC and Infratil removing noise and air monitoring since 2006 with the knowledge and support of councillors then that seems to me a Police matter.

After all, they are meant to be monitoring the pollution levels aren’t they? And reporting them accurately? If it’s the old council attitude of fudging the data or not doing it all as a political or civil service bit of backside-covering or to hustle through polluting policies then that seems a mix of fraud and manslaughter. Thanet does have the highest levels of lung cancer which are directly linked to airports and low-level planes. You don’t need to be a Chief Inspector to know that airplanes don’t run on candy floss and the thick back clouds emerging from the engine or into the water supply aren’t too healthy. Nor that African- registered planes tend to be a bit looser in safety ratings. Hence the MK crash – luckily onto the runway killing the crew – in Canada a couple of years ago.

This next question highlights how coppers work for the public not the public service.

I don’t remember coppers, judges, councillors, civil servants or MP’s or anyone else being above the law or justice.

Worth remembering with Manston and dodgy deals such as Pleasurama and ChinaGate or even 0% salary fraud. I think the bogus pay rises and pensions should – as with MP’s expenses – be paid back. And I don’t understand why TDC payroll isn’t looked at by councillors or published.

How is public sector crime investigated on behalf of the public?

Mr Fuller: Specialist Detectives from the Serious Economic Crime Unit work on investigations into crime in the public sector, and Kent Police have mounted successful operations gaining the convictions of all those involved. This has led our officers to develop a high degree of expertise in this field, and this has been recognised nationally. We have also been asked to run training programmes in this area of police work for officers from other forces around Britain

I’m always surprised to see David’s dad driving his van around with the website and details of someone assassinated in Kent http://www.whokilleddavid.co.uk/
Mike Fuller mentions how 93% of murders in Kent are solved with only 10 unsolved in the last 10 years which is a superb record. I don’t understand why Kent Police don’t publish details of “cold cases” or if the trail’s gone cold as in America.What progress is there in the investigation into the murder of David O’Leary? Mr Fuller: We are continuing to investigate this murder, and the case is regularly reviewed by the Serious Case Team. We have kept the family fully informed of the developments relating to the investigation. At the moment we are waiting for the inquest to take place to formally decide the cause of death. This is something which has to be decided by the coroner.

Here’s a question on why Kent Police with a further 5% increase in council tax for their budget are buying an RAF cruise-missile-spy-drone as used in Afghanistan. Sounds like too much money and not enough sense in head office. Or are the RAF or Army Air Corps or Royal Navy so rubbish at air-sea rescue or surveillance that Kent Police need to do their job for them? Apart from it being a stupid idea (maybe a tank too and a cruise missile?), I’ve been told twice now that such a policy doesn’t exist. Well it obviously does. And bizarrely Kent Police seem to think that head office reviews of spy drones doesn’t actually cost money.

Are the Police still investigating buying and using Afghan-style spy drones? How much time and funds have been spent on such projects to date?

Mr Fuller: Kent Police are working with a number of public groups on a project to examine Unmanned Aerial Systems for use in coastal work. The technology is being tested by ourselves and by BAE Systems to establish how it is developing, how it could be used by the force, and also to enable commercial developers to understand our needs. This area of work is still relatively new and changes may be necessary to existing systems before we can use this. We have not spent any money on developing this but have held talks with the developers and other interested parties. Before the force committed any money it would have to be approved by Chief Officers and the Kent Police Authority.

Kent Police seem an excellent service to me but I’d have thought Mike Fuller should be rattling a few of the padlocks at Manston, council offices and his own head office.

Separately I don’t understand why apart from a bit of petty politicking over which councillor area gets the most coppers, the police don’t assess priorities on need a bit more. And, why the Police don’t report to Council and the public on their policies and move towards a more democratic style of election of senior offices on their policies like in America. I appreciate there are PACT meetings but who in the public, and councillors, with 5% increases in council tax should have to attend PACT meetings plus council meetings etc etc.

Or will the Afghan spy drone beam in Kent Police’s reports to the public?

Evenin’ all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A complaint was made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission alleging negligence in the Kent Police handling so far of the David O'Leary murder case.

The complaint is now awaiting an IPCC appeal date.

But I can tell you that in their answer to complaint Kent Police have only admitted to one case review that of May 2008.

I have written to Mr Fuller asking how many case reviews he says have occurred "Regularly".

From last year there are 3 Kent murders unsolved that I know of. The man beaten to death near his cafe. The man shot in his home at Aylesford and David O'Leary shot at his home in Margate.

We are also presuming the Inquest verdict on the late Pc Eley will not be unlawful killing.