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The Telegraph – Woolwich attack: Police let women risk their lives during wait for armed back up

The police response to the Woolwich terrorist attack has come in for further criticism after it emerged that uniformed officers allowed members of the public to intervene while they waited for armed back up.

CaptureIt took nine minutes for the police to arrive at the scene of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, a further five minutes for an armed response unit to get there. During that five minutes the police simply watched as three women confronted the Nigerians and attempt to comfort Rigby. Senior officers watched everything from CCTV cameras nearby. That the women put themselves in extreme danger is undeniable. The police knew it also, otherwise they would have moved in to make arrests immediately.

Should the police have taken immediate action instead of hanging back to ensure their on safety? Of course. This is why we must pay them. They’re getting danger money. It’s called a salary. But that’s all in the past. Now, even when they saw three women in immediate danger, they did nothing except protect themselves.

We know that when an intruder comes through the window the police are at least minutes away. We can conclude, from Wednesday, that even when they are on the scene, members of the public simply cannot rely on the police to confront danger.

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  1. I think this is a difficult one. First off, getting there asap. Assembly of AR team,
    then traffic.

    the police need to come clean on what their role is and what the public is expected to do.
    Years ago people would help out policemen in trouble because they saw the police as an extension of themselves; protecting the people, upholding the law.

    The police have separated themselves from the public, and they have not only lost our trust and confidence, by isolating themselves they are gradually turning in on themselves and losing a sense of public service. Hence a growth in compensation claims and corruption.
    I salute these brave women (women often act when men simply talk..) but their actions highlight the shame that police must bear for standing by, watching.

  2. Response times and response protocols are always a valid subject for review. But police in the UK got up this morning to put on their uniforms and put themselves between you and criminals, even at the risk of death or injury to themselves this morning. As they did yesterday, as they will do tomorrow.

    Pete Moore dusts off his Irish passport in case he encounters some Muslim fanatic.

  3. It is surely a matter of ‘horses for courses’.

    Change the venue to a house in either the suburbs of a town, or a rural location. Enter a vandal, or a burglar intent on theft and destruction. If a British man even attempts to place himself, armed or otherwise, in front of these thieves; he is the one who shall be arrested. If any harm has come to the intruder, including forcible restraint until the ‘Law’ arives, which usually happens after a ‘risk assessment’ has been written out in triplicate, the property owner is the one who gets arrested and charged. And if, heaven forfend, the property owner owns and uses a legal shotgun, he will be charged with murder, or manslaughter, or intent to wound.

    Police? They are so politiciced and politically correct, the only people who fear them are the ones whom they should be protecting.

  4. Mahons,
    Since the birth of the Peelers the public has by and large held our police force in high esteem. There was a friendly respect towards many of them.
    Again it might be a generational thing, but we remember when they actually lived in our communities. Very few of us now know a policeman/woman’s name, much less know where they live.
    The other thing of course is that public morality is changing, and it is quite common for kids to refer to them as “pigs” and threaten them. Unheard of when I was young! Public morality meant that ordinary people governed their behaviour by internalised values so we accepted the constraints on personal freedom out of respect for other people.
    Finally, why do you keep referring to Pete’s two passports?

  5. Subby and Mahons are on the money on this, you Pete have called this wrong.

    What needs to be discussed is what are the civilians in the U.K. doing to change the policy of the average policeman being unarmed?

    It is nice and quaint that as a society you have decided to un-arm the people that have been hired to protect you.

    If you don’t trust your cops to carry firearms how dare you demand that they protect you. This is a situation you as a society have created and endorsed.

    Are you all willing to mount a campaign to demand that every Bobby be armed? I doubt it.

  6. If we armed all our police it’s a pound to a penny they will then be considered fair game by criminal and terrorist elements.
    Who wants to live in a society where we give up respect for the law in favour of respect for the gun?
    If our police regularly reject the idea of being armed, then who are any of you to say that they should be?

  7. and if you don’t trust them to be armed than you get the protection that you deserve NONE.

  8. A8
    I love you, but you have this backwards my friend. It is the Cops job to be the target of criminal and terrorist elements. The alternative is that YOU the average citizen is the target.

  9. “Pete and others cannot criticise the Police for not acting in confronting armed men who have just butchered someone and then be against arming all the Police.”

    I can and I am. If you take the shilling then you do the job. When two Africans are dripping blood and waving knives around in public, you do what you’re employed to do.

    Troll sounds like he comes from a long line of people who sat in the motor waiting for backup.

  10. But Troll,
    (Love you too Bro btw),

    Our society has been built on respect for the rule of law. That is something which has gradually evolved over our history. Our police were only armed with guns in serious civil emergencies. The siege of Sidney Street 1909 provoked a debate about arming the police as three uniformed policemen were shot dead and two wounded..

    But get this…

    “There were no state pensions or distress funds in those days for the families of officers killed on duty, but almost immediately money started coming from all over the British Empire. The widows of the two dead sergeants were awarded pensions of 30 shillings (15p) a week for life, provided “they remained of good character and did not remarry.”


    America is quite a different society to ours. In fact I have met two Yanks here now who have actually settled and are an active part of our Church of England. I have met both of them at our Diocesan Synods and Deanery Synods. They love it! It’s so archaic even I don’t understand it, but these American lads love the stability and tradition of our way of life.
    So if our poilice don’t want to be armed, it’s their call. I think the balance is about right personally. Armed response teams and Bobbies with batons.

  11. S62 –

    “What exactly do you suggest the unarmed cops do when they confront a couple of crazies armed with a machete and a meat cleaver.”

    Use the tasers, batons and incapacity sprays with which they’re routinely armed.

  12. Hang on, hang on …

    “The women were in no danger from these guys they had already killed their target ..”

    S62, you’re being daft.

  13. Pete why do throw an insult at my family?

    If this had happened on the streets of Philly or any city where my family are cops and they were there they would have jumped right in. In any American city the first cops on the scene would have their weapons drawn the instant they arrived.

    If it happened in front of americans that availed themselves of their right to carry we would be holding these animals at gun point until the cops arrived.

  14. Perhaps every precinct (at least those in urban areas) should have an ARV on standby? The response time does seem long and could have been disasterous under different circumstances. With that said, I appreciate that this team did not shoot to kill and aimed for the legs. More info will be had from the nutters.

  15. Subs
    To have aimed for the legs was a smart move if it meant they were able to obtain info from them. Personally I think the treason article by Simon Heffer in today’s Daily Mail is pretty good. Treason is a real crime against the citizenry of a country. If folk like Petr insist that these people are citizens (which I admit legally they are) the fact then that they attack and murder a fellow citizen for being a soldier is an act of treason and should be dealt with accordingly. British Law should be pre eminent. No room for other legal systems.

  16. S62 –

    Many have tasers, a baton is longer than a knife, and I don’t care if they picked up a stick.

    What this has done is expose all that hackneyed propaganda about “the thin blue line”, about how the police are all that stands between us and the criminals, about how these heroes “serve and protect”. Most people swallow all that bullshit, and bullshit is what it is.

    We’ve seen time after time that the police will protect themselves first and mop up your blood later.

  17. I ‘assumed’ they chose to incapacitate the nutters on pupose…you’re saying they aimed at the torso and missed?

  18. Troll –

    It’s not an insult at your family. I’m just fed up with your bombastic bullshit.

    You’re full of some Hollywood script about the heroic police, about how they run towards the sound of gunfire, about what brave souls they are.

    Fine, but don’t then defend the police when they sit in the motor and look on as three women confront two Africans dripping with blood and tooled up with knives and cleavers.

  19. mairin2 –

    They hit on the torso in various places.

    One African was running at a police car, the other was sprinting from left to right. Video here.

  20. Thanks…several reports said they were hit in the legs but I haven’t read much about the incident since Thurday morning. CBS: The men, suspected of hacking the off-duty soldier to death while horrified bystanders watched, boasted of their exploits and warned of more violence in images recorded on witnesses’ mobile phones. Holding bloody knives and a meat cleaver, they waited for the arrival of police, who shot them in the legs, according to a passer-by who tried to save the dying soldier.

  21. “You have obviously never been in that position ..”

    I damned well have been, and the bastard Arab taxi driver in Paris who came at me with a knife didn’t get up before the ambulance arrived.

    It’s about attitude, not health and safety forms and Hollywood scripts.

  22. Members of the public simply cannot rely on the police to confront danger.

    So who do they rely on then?

  23. Just an fyi based on some googling…there is some concern regarding police training and shooting a suspect in the torso when there’s a possibility s/he is a suicide bomber and has a bomb strapped to his torso. Both these nutters were wearing coats…could be the police thought they might be suicide bombers since they waited around specifically for police to arrive or they were hoping for a ‘suicide by cop’ scenario. It seems their are numerous reports from around the world that says the nutters were shot in the legs but it also seems they are all quoting the same passerby. From what I can tell, officials have not said where the nutters were shot. I came across two reports that said the guy thought to be holding a gun had that hand shot. After 7/7 armed police were given the ok to shoot in the head if it was thought a suspect might be a suicide bomber but after that Brazilian guy was shot in the head mistakely, the shoot-in-the head policy was questioned.

  24. They’re not nutters. They are following the very explicit instructions of their prophet, whose words were quoted by them on Wednesday. They are evil, but let’s not give them the benefit of any ” insanity defense ” .

  25. S62 –

    “Bullshit Pete i don’t believe a word that comes out or your mouth.”

    I don’t care what you believe. It’s none of my business.

  26. The Arab Driver in PAris reminds me of all those old encounters Andrew McCann used to tell us about. And Walter Mitty’s stories….

  27. Pete – Sub62 doesn’t believe a word that you write which is why I always link to a source article which supports any assertion. Here’s an example:


    A would-be “underwear bomber” involved in a plot to attack a US-based jet was in fact working as an undercover informer with Saudi intelligence and the CIA, it has emerged.

    The revelation is the latest twist in an increasingly bizarre story about the disruption of an apparent attempt by al-Qaida to strike at a high-profile American target using a sophisticated device hidden in the clothing of an attacker.

    Now this report links al-Qaeda to the CIA as you and I had always maintained. Taking this report as a base case, it is reasonable to assert that the ‘Underwear Bomber’ who was ushered onto an American Airways flight at Schiphol without security check and who had such a bomb on his person was also working for the CIA. The entire event at the boarding gate was seen and reported by Kurt Haskell, an American lawyer and it fits in with what is known.

    The likes of Sub62 are serious ‘believers’: they’ll believe whatever they are told by corporate media. Sub62 could state that he doesn’t believe anything in this post and that is his choice, but his basis for saying so would founded upon his solid credulity and nothing else.

  28. I don’t think we have all the facts. However

    If there were ground for thinking that suicide bombs would be let off then the arrival of police woukd have been the trigger to do so, so best that those officers are armed. (an argument for waiting for armed response not for routine arning )

    I do not expect police officers to make needless martyrs of themselves (let’s leave others to that sick ideology).

    Most police officers don’t want to be armed and as a resident of London, I have no wish to force out of the police thousands of experienced officers by insisting they be armed. The numbers of armed officers required should be continually under review.

  29. no Pete screw you. You made a direct insult against my family, you know I come from a family cops. and you deliberately threw that insult because I agreed with those calling you an ass. Well you are an ass.

    Police and people are different here in the US. We understand there are animals that walk amongst us, we hire police to keep them away from the rest of us. You hire police to be window dressing motivated by political correctness.

    You are an anarchist, a fool, and a conspiracy nut. I also agree with Subby there is no way you punched anyone.

    Will just add the Police to your long list of people you hate, Americans, Jews, and the Cops. You share a lot in common with the man in the picture above holding the knife.

  30. The cops in the US, as are most cops everywhere, are the thin blue line that keeps us from disaster.

    Some are bad, but the huge majority are good, brave people who deal with things that the rest could not.

    I imagine that British cops are the same, but no British participant in ATW has chosen to defend them against Pete’s calumnies, which does tell us something about the state of British policing, or about those who roost here.

  31. ” but no British participant in ATW has chosen to defend them against Pete’s calumnies, which does tell us something about the state of British policing, or about those who roost here.”

    Mine and I think Ernest’s posts often reflect our generational views and memories of our country.
    When I posted that article about the Siege of Sydney Street it took place in the year my Dad was born! But I would say (and it is only my perspective) Provincial Great Britain didn’t change much from then until the second world war. There was still a very strong sense of national identity, and within that was our views of the military, our Empire our monarchy and of course our police.
    So people like me would go to the aid of a policeman in trouble because in my formative years I was taught that the police were on our side and there to keep us safe and uphold the law.
    I struggle with this new police force service which seems so remote, has abandoned our estates, embraces ‘Elf and Safety’ and lives in cars instead of riding bikes.
    I still respect them (mostly), but make no mistake they have been politicised in a way they never were in my young days.

  32. At 6.53pm yesterday, mairin2 wrote:

    Holding bloody knives and a meat cleaver, they waited for the arrival of police, who shot them in the legs, according to a passer-by who tried to save the dying soldier.

    Here are pictures of the shot men. There is a curious absence of blood and of any indication that the men have been shot at all. Also on the same link, the heroine who confronted the knife-man urges us to “back our boys” and “stand shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers who protect us” – in Afghanistan?


    By cohencidence, the murdered soldier comes from Langley.

  33. My calumnies!

    That the police in Woolwich watched as three women put themselves in great danger, and held back for their own safety, is simply reporting the news.

    I think they were cowardly and should have acted. This is simply my opinion.

    If others think the police should look first to their own safety then then fine, simply say so, but let’s not also have contadictory statements like “they are the thin blue line that keeps us from disaster”.

    Quite demonstrably this is unture. We’ve time after time that the police will hold back to protect themselves, that firemen will stand beside a 3-foot deep lake and watch a disabled man drown, that the terror of health and safety – for the state’s servants – is observed first.

    Come on people, you’re not in school anymore. You can put aside all that propaganda and all those cheap slogans. Open your eyes and look around you. Time to think for yourselves.

    Troll’s exempted from that requirement of course.

  34. Allan, I’m not going to indulge you any more today except to say the attack originally took place at the site where the soldier was run down on the sidewalk—those pictures show puddles and streams of blood. The body was later dragged into the street.
    As an aside I don’t support any presence in Afghanistan…bin Laden is dead. The war is costing more than it’s worth and is making matters worse outside of Afghanistan.
    I don’t mind looking into other theories. I am suspect of the way authorities handle domestic and foreign matters. I tend to question a lot. But I don’t enjoy cyber discussing things with you; I see no use in it. Have a nice evening.

  35. Pete – The two attackers were actors and the cops didn’t want to hurt their fellow thespians in this staged event (which was clearly set up to allow Big Brother to gain more control).

  36. Agit

    A) Repeal the wildly wrong Health and Safety laws

    B) Address the wrong turns taken by police ( monitoring internet for rude talk)

    But let there be no doubt -without a robust and capable police, you cannot survive.

  37. screw you Pete.

    Your anarchist. You are filled with hate, and you preach and support mayhem. You have much in common with the perpetrators of this horrendous act. You share a large number of the same hates as the two that committed this act of terror.

    You society has castrated your police force and them blame them for being impotent. We get the society we deserve. We suffer the consequences of the actions of those we put into office, and their actions are endorsed by the votes they receive.

  38. Mahons –

    I’m not sure why you direct that comment my way, however Big Brother is certainly attempting use the murder to advance the surveillance state.

    At root, the presence of aliens has resulted in yet another push by state agents to curtail our liberties.

    This is not acceptable and reason enough to reverse the immigration catastrophe of the last fifty years. No, I will not accept that my liberties must be proscribed because of the presence of aliens. Not acceptable.

  39. “But let there be no doubt -without a robust and capable police, you cannot survive.”

    I’d be the last mentally deranged Brit to disagree with you!

  40. Troll –

    It’s time you learned how to use an apostrophe. Come on, you’re an adult. Have some self respect.

  41. Pete

    That’s the best response you could come up with? You insult my family, you display on a daily basis your inner hate, and you criticize my grammar?

    What a sad little man.

  42. I damned well have been, and the bastard Arab taxi driver in Paris who came at me with a knife didn’t get up before the ambulance arrived.

    LOL!! Patent bullshit. Pete, you are beyond parody at this stage. I’m beginning to suspect you’re an actor! 🙂

  43. Troll –

    It’s not my best response, but the only one I could be bothered to give. Quite clearly I was sending you up and not insulting your family.

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