Sunday, November 20, 2011

London Councils Summit 2011: Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe

On Saturday I went to the London Councils Summit in the Guildhall, City of London. I have never been to the 800 year old Guildhall before and was most impressed.  I would recommend a visit. It reminds me of Westminster Hall.  The theme of
this year's summit is "Leadership in challenging times".

I missed the morning session due to my ward sugary, but arrived in time to hear the keynote speaker, Bernard Hogan-Howe, the new Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police.  Who I have not heard speak or be interviewed before. 

I don't think that he started off that well by saying if Police numbers in London are reduced due to budget cuts "he will not be defeatist", which is hardly the signal to send before the budget is finalised.  Also he promised a "total war on crime" then immediately said "without being violent or aggressive". I'm not sure how you can have a "total war" with criminals without being at least a little bit "aggressive"? 

He improved as he went on. He handled himself well in the Q&A.  Answering hard questions on hassling innocent photographers, the student protests and "baton rounds" with honesty and candour.  He also knows how to tell a joke.

I think by temperament he is a no nonsense "say it as is it" northerner, a "Coppers' copper"who can also walk and talk.  We're see how he gets on with a job that is potentially a poisoned chalice in so many ways.

Anyway compared to the evil one guest speaker last year - he was a great improvement! I will post on the summit workshops later this week.
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