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Chief Bakes

BBC: Westminster attack: Acting Met boss witnessed PC stabbing

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Chief Bakes

Westminster attack: Acting Met boss witnessed PC stabbing

  • 8 October 2018
Related Topics
Clockwise from top left - PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and Kurt Cochran Image copyright Met Police/Social Media
Image caption Clockwise from top left: PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and Kurt Cochran all lost their lives

The acting Metropolitan Police chief witnessed the murder of PC Keith Palmer during the Westminster attack from inside his car, an inquest has heard.

Sir Craig Mackey said it was his instinct to get out of the car when he saw Khalid Masood attack, but he stayed because he had no protective equipment.

The attack happened as he was being driven out of the Palace of Westminster after a meeting on 22 March last year.

Masood also drove into and killed four people on Westminster bridge.

The 52-year-old was shot dead by armed police during the attack and his inquest is taking place at the Old Bailey in central London.

The inquest into the deaths of PC Palmer, 48, Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, finished last week - the coroner ruled all five been unlawfully killed.

Sir Craig, now deputy commissioner of Scotland Yard, had been at the House of Commons meeting then-police minister Brandon Lewis.

As he was driven out of the Palace of Westminster with colleagues, he heard a "very, very loud band" from the direction of Westminster tube station.

He said they then locked the car's doors as they saw Masood with a large knife at the gates.

"There was quite a lot of confusion about what was going on," Sir Craig told the Old Bailey.

"Clearly the way that the male came in and the purposeful way he came, he was clearly a threat."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Craig Mackey with current Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick, before the funeral of PC Palmer

Sir Craig, who retires in December, said he saw PC Palmer suffer "two determined stab wounds".

He said: "I could see PC Palmer moving backwards and him going down...

"The thing that still shakes me about the attack is that it was 80-plus seconds in total. It didn't feel like that, it felt an awfully long time."

Masood was then shot by a close protection officer.

When asked what his reaction was following the gunshots, Sir Craig said: "First and foremost I was a police officer so I went to open the door to get out.

"One of the PCs, quite rightfully, said: 'Get out, make safe, go, shut the door,' which he did, and it was the right thing to do.

"That's when I thought: 'I have got to start putting everything we need in place. We have got no protective equipment, no radio, I have got two colleagues with me who are quite distressed,' so we moved out."

He added: "If anyone had got out, the way this Masood was looking, anyone who got in his way would have been a target."

The inquest has adjourned until Wednesday, when two close protection officers will give evidence.

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ParochialYokal

It’s easy for someone to sit in an arm chair and say what they would do whilst witnessing a terrorist attack.

 

However, if I was the Commissioner of the MET I wouldn’t sit in a car and watch! He could have at least got out, even if it was a token effort.

 

I am not sure how many occasions in the history of the MET that a Commissioner has even witnessed one of their own Officers get murdered?

 

I think that the whole situation is even more galling by the fact that the Coroner ruled that Pc PALMER’s death could have been prevented. Not only was this acting Commissioner the person whom was corporately responsible at the time for not preventing the death, he sat in a car and watched him get killed because it was ‘too dangerous’ for him to exit the vehicle.

 

You couldn’t make this up.

 

 

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Growley

In fairness, what do you expect him to be able to do?

 

He's unarmed and hasn't been on the streets in probably over a decade. If he got involved he'd just become another casualty, or get in the way of officers who could actually do something.

 

It'd be horrible to be in that position, but I genuinely don't see how he could've been effective.

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ParochialYokal
In fairness, what do you expect him to be able to do?
 
He's unarmed and hasn't been on the streets in probably over a decade. If he got involved he'd just become another casualty, or get in the way of officers who could actually do something.
 
It'd be horrible to be in that position, but I genuinely don't see how he could've been effective.


He could have run towards the incident?

It’s more a token gesture than anything else.

The fact that he did nothing was, in my view at least, a faux paus.

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Hyphen

I have to say that it is near impossible to defend Mackey here, especially from a public perception point of view. The damage here can not be understated.

However, more concerning is the other two officers who seem to have been with him. What were they doing? Why did no one have any PPE with them? It’s inexcusable. The two other cops being distressed is even worse.

To balance the argument slightly it is one of those situations that of course until you are in it you don’t know how you would react, and yes, Officer should risk assess. However, seeing a colleague attacked like that and doing nothing is sickening.

I would go as far as saying with this revelation his position is untenable, along with the officers who had been with him.

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Techie1

It certainly doesn’t read well. 

Some senior officers patrol the streets in uniform, clearly keeping up their officer safety training. Should all of them do that (assuming they’re not on restricted duties of course)? 

I’m not a police officer, but I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t at least try to help. I couldn’t have just sat in a car and watch. 

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Growley


He could have run towards the incident?

It’s more a token gesture than anything else.

The fact that he did nothing was, in my view at least, a faux paus.
What's the point though? That token gesture probably would've got him stabbed and done absolutely nothing to stop the attack.

It would have been a stupid thing to do.
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ParochialYokal
What's the point though? That token gesture probably would've got him stabbed and done absolutely nothing to stop the attack.

It would have been a stupid thing to do.


I doubt that he would have literally been the first one there.

In any event, getting out the car could have involved him scanning the wider scene to look for other assailants.

Such action would have gone a long way and served a much wider purpose. As it stands, it sends the message that at the first sign of trouble a very senior officer would lock themselves in their own vehicle rather than run and help a colleague.

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Growley


I doubt that he would have literally been the first one there.

In any event, getting out the car could have involved him scanning the wider scene to look for other assailants.

Such action would have gone a long way and served a much wider purpose. As it stands, it sends the message that at the first sign of trouble a very senior officer would lock themselves in their own vehicle rather than run and help a colleague.
If he wasn't the first one there, it's equally pointless.

The "wider purpose" you seem to be referring to is ironically only to appease people who don't (or won't) understand the futility of it.
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ParochialYokal
If he wasn't the first one there, it's equally pointless.

The "wider purpose" you seem to be referring to is ironically only to appease people who don't (or won't) understand the futility of it.


That would be 99% of people then.

It would probably also include his widow.

Most choices should be driven by utilitarian considerations, but this was one that should have been driven by a more human dimension.

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Zulu 22

How could it be futile. I  had done that I would not have expected that any of my officers would ever have looked at me again.   I have been in a similar situation, not as serious, but we all have to remember as should the Deputy that first of all he is a warranted officer which sometimes means doing something out of the ordinary. From the reports he and his car were by the gate on scene, and close enough to identify the type of knife used.

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Growley


That would be 99% of people then.

It would probably also include his widow.

Most choices should be driven by utilitarian considerations, but this was one that should have been driven by a more human dimension.
I severely doubt 99% of people agree with you. Exaggeration doesn't help anything.
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Growley
How could it be futile. I  had done that I would not have expected that any of my officers would ever have looked at me again.   I have been in a similar situation, not as serious, but we all have to remember as should the Deputy that first of all he is a warranted officer which sometimes means doing something out of the ordinary. From the reports he and his car were by the gate on scene, and close enough to identify the type of knife used.
I've explained how it was futile, unless you have a new point to add, I'm not going to repeat myself.
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Four Plus One
5 hours ago, Chief Bakes said:

Sir Craig Mackey said it was his instinct to get out of the car when he saw Khalid Masood attack, but he stayed because he had no protective equipment.

Sir Craig, who retires in December, said he saw PC Palmer suffer "two determined stab wounds".

"That's when I thought: 'I have got to start putting everything we need in place. We have got no protective equipment, no radio, I have got two colleagues with me who are quite distressed,' so we moved out."

 

View the full article

That didn't stop the likes of PC Charlie Guenigault, Stephen Tibble, Ian Dibell.....

I honestly can't say how I would have reacted had I been faced with the situation DAC Mackey found himself in. No-one can until they experience it. However I would expect that if I had reacted in the way that he did I would expect to have my behaviour labelled as cowardly in the extreme.

Locking the doors of his car containing not only himself but other police officers whilst another police officer was murdered on front of his eyes and the threat to the public remained. I honestly can't see how the new Commissioner thought that Mr Mackey's position was tenable.

 

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Zulu 22
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Growley said:
37 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:
How could it be futile. I  had done that I would not have expected that any of my officers would ever have looked at me again.   I have been in a similar situation, not as serious, but we all have to remember as should the Deputy that first of all he is a warranted officer which sometimes means doing something out of the ordinary. From the reports he and his car were by the gate on scene, and close enough to identify the type of knife used.

I've explained how it was futile, unless you have a new point to add, I'm not going to repeat myself.

How about, as the senior officer on the scene that he take control of the scenario,  or would that be beyond his capability.

I fully endorse the comments of Four Plus One.

Edited by Zulu 22

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