Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary notes submitted by the Metropolitan Police Service following the evidence session on 5 February 2002

1.  How many fatal shootings have their been in Hackney in the last two years and what is the detection rate? (Qq 35-38)


Firearm Homicides
TypeType of weapon used 2000-20012001-2002   
OffenceShotgun0 22
  Handgun 3811
  Firearm not known 202
Offence Total   5815
Clear upHandgun0 11
Clear up Total   011


  The figures quoted are for financial year April 2000 to March 2001 and April 2001 to Feb 2002 (to date)

  An offence is "cleared up" once a suspect has been charged.

2.  How many officers of the rank of Chief Inspector or above are black or asian? (Qq 123-127)

Number of VEM* officers
VEM officers as a % of the total for the rank
ACPO rank
Chief Superintendent
Detective Superintendent
Chief Inspector
Detective Chief Inspector


* Visible Ethnic Minority

** One Assistant Commissioner, One Deputy Assistant Commissioner and One Commander

3.  How many discipline cases are currently underway as a result of internal complaints from "whistleblowers"? (Q 130)

  The MPS has a clear policy for reporting wrongdoing which has been publicised to the Service by a force instruction (known in the MPS as a "Special Notice").

  Officers are encouraged to report wrongdoing by colleagues in one of four ways:

    —  via the "Right Line", a confidential phone line into the Directorate of Professional Standards;

    —  by reporting the matter to a supervisor or more senior member of staff;

    —  via Federation or other Staff Association;

    —  via someone external to the organisation—for example a Member of Parliament.

  The number of calls to the Right Line is—and always has been—small. These calls are assessed and in many cases relate to minor matters of wrongdoing, which are passed back to the Unit Commander to deal with. As a result, the number that result in a full internal investigation is reduced further and the number leading to disciplinary proceedings is even smaller.

  Equally, most internal investigations (as opposed to public complaints) originate from an officer being reported by his or her line manager, acting on information which may have come from a colleague.

  It is therefore difficult to say just how many cases which result in disciplinary proceedings will have started as information from a "whistleblower".

  The MPS Reporting Of Wrongdoing policy is an active document which is kept under constant review.

4.  Information on the age at which someone can possess and use air weapons. (Qq 161-165)

  Age limits concerned with firearms are covered by Sections 22 to 24 of the 1968 Firearms Act. These impose a variety of restrictions, that are governed by three age bands.

  1.  under 17 years

  2.  under 15 years

  3.  under 14 years

  Each drop in age places more restrictions on the person. For example, a 14 year old is bound by the restrictions under age bands one and two, and a 13 year old is bound by restrictions under age bands one, two and three.

  The relevant parts of the legislation are attached as an Annex.

5.  An estimate of the number of firearms and unarrested killers who use firearms in London. (Qq 168-171)

  It is very difficult to give a meaningful answer to this question, particularly in relation to the number of illegal firearms in London at the present time.

  The Serious Crime Group are currently undertaking some research into "unarrested killers who use firearms"—based on the number of outstanding murder enquiries in which a firearm was used. This information will be forwarded to the Home Affairs Select Committee as soon as it is available—but with the clear proviso that it can only be an estimate of the number of murderers.

6.  Explanation of terminology—Operation Seneca and Q-cars. (Q 47)

Operation Seneca

  Seneca is an operation conducted by the MPS and other agencies which aims at tackling crime on public transport—and in particular buses and bus routes.

  Targeting hot spots of crime in and around bus routes, using both surveillance and high visibility patrols, Seneca has also extended into cab enforcement, youth welfare and truancy as well as making a valuable intelligence link for Specialist Operations and the Serious Crime Group.

  Seneca has netted nearly 1,600 arrests and prevented many serious crimes due to a strong police presence. Particular successes include more than 300 arrests for drugs, nearly 200 for robbery and over 150 arrests for theft.


  Q cars are essentially unmarked police cars crewed by two or three officers in plain clothes who form part of the tactics employed on Operation Safer Streets. As well as general patrolling of crime hotspots, their role is to respond rapidly to a report of a robbery, visit the scene, pick up a witness and tour the area looking for the suspects.

The Metropolitan Police Service

March 2002

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