Brendan Foley, Assistant Commissioner for Service Monitoring at the Metropolian Police today launched a strong attack on what he called the continued culture of ‘withering sarcasm and arch condescension’ amongst officers in the Force.
The accusation comes as a blow to the Met, hot on the heels of public outrage at the controversial ‘belittling’ technique used at the G20 protests. One hundred and thirty complaints have so far been lodged, regarding instances of facetiousness, use of grim ironic devices and low-level condescension by officers, many allegedly captured by CCTV and on mobile phones.
The force have already promised a ‘root and branch review’ of its ripostes following the Jose-Manuel Ortega enquiry by the Police Complaints Commission. Jose, a trainee acupuncturist from Caracas was badly wounded by police remarks in 2005 after being mistaken for Sela Inua, an Inuit from Battersea suspected of letting his tax disc expire.
An anonymous source within the force told reporters that previous attempts to stamp out sarcasm culture at the Met have only served to drive it further underground: ‘You can still see it in the canteen culture at Scotland Yard, every time an officer pours custard over his slice of pear crumble and remarks to the serving staff ‘one lump or two, dear?’
A official spokesperson for Scotland Yard responded to the claims: ‘I must say we are all really, really, surprised by these latest allegations; Assistant Commissioner Foley has never had a go at the Met in public before, especially since he was denied promotion three years ago. Everybody at the Yard is so impressed by this latest outburst. Now, ladies and gentlemen of the press, if you don’t mind, we need to apply our minds to the trifling matter of the safe running of a city.’
12th May 2009