Ian Tomlinson’s death and the CCTV puzzler

In a good bit of sleuthing, the Ill and Ancient blog (via Wardman Wire) has put together a photo montage revealing that there are three CCTV cameras in place covering the location where Ian Tomlinson got hit and pushed to the ground by a policeman during the G20 protests. You can see it for yourself here.

Why does this matter? Well, it’s because the police and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission, who are investigating Ian Tomlinson’s death) have both said there’s no CCTV footage of the incident.

I’ve previously blogged about the contrast between the earlier very positive police comments about how efficient and detailed their CCTV coverage of the demonstration was and these current comments about there being none of the key incident.

On top of that, it does seem rather a stretch to think that all three of the cameras identified by Ill and Ancient were not working that day (or were pointing in a different direction, but subsequently turned round by the time the photomontage was put together). Certainly as the IPCC news release from 6 April confirms, there were other CCTV cameras in the immediate vicinity which were working, which would appear to rule out explanations such as a power cut across the area of a blanket systems failure.

So all a bit rum.

The IPCC themselves haven’t helped matters by first having their chair Nick Hardwick tell Channel 4 News that there were given CCTV footage by The Guardian. Then when it was pointed out in the interview that The Guardian‘s footage wasn’t CCTV and the point was pressed, Nick Hardwick said instead that, “there were no cameras in the location” (which isn’t accurate). Finally, the IPCC subsequently told Channel 4 that there were cameras, but they weren’t working – a third version of events.

Channel 4 rather generously describes this third version has having “confirmed” Nick  Hardwick’s earlier comments, though if you read the quotes and watch the clip on their website it is clear that there were three different versions run through.

One thing at least is clear from all this: given all these oddities, the IPCC report is going to have to go into a lot of solid detail on the CCTV evidence to have a decent chance of gaining public confidence for its findings.

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  • If this incident concerned two or three lads outside a pub at night it would carry a heading of murder.There were on film some four or five police officers around Ian Tomlinson,he was walking away with his hands in his pockets.It’s about time police did thier duty as they used to, i.e.,in the interest of public safety. This is the type of situation that has caused the lack of respect to the police.Nobody is saying that it’s an easy job to do, but they will never get full public backing behaving like “untouchables”

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