The IPCC released its Part B report on the death of Bijan Ebrahimi. The opinion of its Investigator Mr Simik, is that as a result of the failures of the Organisation, Lee James felt impunity, when he decided to brutally murder Mr Ebrahimi. This is not something we agree with. Lee James had his own reasons and motivations for the brutal murder of Mr Ebrahimi.
The Constabulary has apologised for the failing of its systems and has indeed introduced a number of measures in order to mitigate a future similar incident from happening again. One of its key areas of work is around Leadership. As the Representative body of the rank and file of the Constabulary, whilst accepting there are always area of learning following tragic events, we remain concerned that both the IPCC and Constabulary were quick to apportion blame during this Investigation. Opportunities to learn from the mistakes were delayed whilst the IPCC decided who was to blame and at what level. There were significant Leadership issues running throughout Mr Ebrahimi’s interactions with the Constabulary, yet only Sergeants and Constables were held to account either through Criminal or Gross Misconduct proceedings. These are not the ranks that set the direction or policies of the Constabulary.
The public rightly expects those who have been negligent or have deliberately misconducted themselves to be held to account. In this instance there were a number of Organisational failings where the system did not identify the risk.
The Impossibility of Policing, where officers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, sees Police Officers doing an incredibly difficult job, often under resourced, making difficult decisions armed only on the information they have at the time. Inevitably mistakes will be made. It is the decision whether to learn from those mistakes or simply to lay blame, that will ultimately determine the level of service that is delivered to the Public.