The Yard may probe Red Cap deaths

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Mad_Moriarty, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. Police are to consider investigating claims of neglect against the Ministry of Defence over the deaths of six Red Caps in Iraq, Scotland Yard has said.

    Story here
  2. Extremely sad and all the families have my utmost sympathy, and their desire to determine the 'truth' surrounding their loss is a natural human reaction.

    It appears, however, that the current fashion to find a scapegoat to take responsibility for every single decision and action is kicking in again. What possible good will come out of a police investigation, and what will it unearth? That somebody sent them into a dangerous area - how dare they? That they took a left turn instead of a right because they hadn't received proper map reading instruction - scandalous. That the Paras mission and tasks that day conflicted with that of the RMP - probably but the man who achieves a fully joined up battle picture has yet to be invented.

  3. The B of I report (sorry - have lost link and my searches all end up negative) did draw up a number of things in the senior levels of the Pro Coy that could have been better organised. These were all red-pencilled when Board results went higher up but they do deserve wider attention and not just swept under carpet with broad 'Pro need better training'.
    As for any result in Iraq, cannot see it happening. We saw quality of Iraqi evidence in the recent Para thing. Any forensic stuff would be dubious because of long time between incident and RMP investigators getting access. I understand there are 6 blokes in the frame - bet your life they will produce the other 494 of the crowd to say it was a prayer meeting.
  4. A tragedy? Certainly. Mistakes made? Almost definitely. A need to prevent recurrence? Absolutely. A requirement to try and make someone else suffer through prosecution in order to attempt to assuage the hurt of the bereaved? I don't see why.

    It won't bring them back, and, whilst not a pyschologist, am not sure this is healthy for the bereaved. Nor will it make recurrence less likely - and it certainly won't make the Army's job on future ops any easier.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised to see civpol relishing a bit of limelight.

    Perhaps they could nip into MAK and find the actual perpetrators.
  5. Good post Dilfor. The families have my utmost respect and my heart goes out to them, however going over the same issues again, looking for more reasons to apportion blame can only bring further bitterness and heart ache.

    Regardless of the failings at the time (of which clearly there were many), the culprits will never be brought to justice. MAK is fiercely tribal and they will never, under any circumstances, hand them over. Sad, but true.

    At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
  6. I think the gist of the requested investigation by Scotland Yard has naff all to do with the assailants of the 6 murdered RMP NCO's. It is all to do with hanging someones ball out to dry for and i quote the BBC Website "consider whether there is evidence of any criminal conduct arising from a failure in procedure and lack of provision of communications equipment"

    Now, the last time I looked at my Blackstone's, "failure in procedure and lack of provision of communications equipment" did not constitute a 'criminal' offence.

    I am sure if the SIB found anyone wanting in that regard, there would have been someone stuck on.
  7. The problem is that it was the CoC, MoD and Govt who committed a grossly numerically inadequate and underequipped force to occupy a huge region where every type of authority - except Iranian Shia agitators - had vanished. Troops bimbled around as if they were on FTX because that was the endemic culture in the field army at the time.

    I would welcome a criminal investigation, if it followed the trail of responsibility to the top....
  8. An excellent point.

    Labour are bringing in a new corporate manslaughter law. Officers of negligent companies will be held personally liable for the actions of their companies. If somebody gets brained by a falling spanner because they didn't have a hard hat, one of the directors will go to prison.

    Given that the government kills more people through negligence than all of the companies in Britain combined, will we be seeing ministers up in court when the new law is passed?
  9. Off topic here…

    Ancient Mariner, I’m sure you know the answer to your last sentence. This government like any, will place responsibility of such matters at the feet of more QUANGOs. Thus removing more accountability of Ministers (without a reduction in their pay).
    In the case of the MOD they would rather sack senior AF staff than the defense secretary. Even though the defense secretary has always been fully aware of the needs of the AF. But has never had the balls to stand up to the Treasury. After all the MOD is competing for money against the NHS (one of the worlds biggest employers).
  10. Always the option of a Health & Safety charge as in Brazilian vs. SO19 Met Police. Would not get a result but opportunity to draw out to public examination much that has stayed in the family. Will find a place in Archbold's just after that bit about a bloke having sex with a duck.
  11. I think this is probably right and, indeed, lasted for another 9 -12 months in some quarters in theatre. Because it was both endemic and cultural, however (the reasons why might be interesting to debate - soldiering-lite in the FRY/optimism over transition in Iraq/fading NI experiences/arrogance over the UK approach to FP?) I cannot see there is any individual or individuals to blame. I don't even think we can lay it at the door of the government - this is Army business, not politics.

    For those thinking of corporate manslaughter, be very careful what you wish for. Most relevant decisions were taken at BG/Bde level - it would be soldiers, not politicians, that would be facing this. There but for the grace of God....

    Lastly, the final sadness for me is that the implied suggestion in involving civpol to investigate is that RMP(SIB) failed in their investigation. Given the continuing fight for the Army to keep its own legal process and the accordant pressures on the RMP (both at corporate and individual level - as seen by the 2 suicides in theatre), it seems terrible that the memory of these 6 is being used to effectively add further pressure to their colleagues.

    This is one case where I think the phrase 'Rest in Peace' should really mean just that.
  12. Sensible words Dilfor on an emotive issue. Good post.
  13. This would be an interesting thread on it's own but would attract all the Monty Python script-writers. Just as starters though, I don't think it is about ability of SIB performance. Supervision maybe. The recent HMIC report re SIB has some smoke hanging around the mirrors but is generally supportive. I understand there is to be some form of peer review maybe involving RAF Police investigators. This will not, apparently, be direct involvement just a review of what was done and how effectively.
    If the sad day did come to pass - who would pick up the duty of investigations in such few overseas bases that we have? Does C1 at NSY even exist still? Would county force CID be dragged in depending on home base of caller for assistance? Either way, there are not a lot of CID blokes about. What would Joe Public say if told that the already criticised service got worse because couple of DS had 'swanned off' to the Falklands because NAAFI had lost a container load of fags. The police are quite militant - would they go to Iraq as willingly or quickly? Would they be armed in such duty? Whose ROE - civil police or military? Obviously, the gobment would just say Do It and the problem would be left to others but we may have a bit of respect at gobt level following CGS stand.
  14. To be honest if the gobment thought that they could save few sheckles by binning all military police and bringing it under civ-pol then they would do it.... Just look at the shambles that they call Military Health care to start.

    (I apologise in advance if Swiss Tony comes out with a new initiative within the couple of weekds stating that this will be the case.)

    As for the 6 RMP's that got taken out, not a good thing to happen however if this is the case in future for all operations in that all actions will be scrutinied to this sort of detail then nothing will ever get done. It was tragic and that there were some stupid decisions made before they went out on patrol, but unfortunately this is all now hind sight. I just hope that SOP's in the future will reflect this and that the lesson though harsh and bitter has been learn't. Dragging this on will not bring them back and will not satisfy the families quest for justice, however what they will do is undermine the morale of their loved ones colleagues as well as another round of the tabloids quest for a headline.
  15. If a civvy employer who sends their employees out to work improperly equipped and trained to do a job can be prosecuted I see no reason why the Army should be exempt. Are soldiers lives worth less then civvies ? Incompetence cannot be excused just because it is exhibited by someone in DPM.

    I would be surprised if anyone who had clearly and verifiably (ie a paper trail) pushed these issues up the CoC would have anything to worry about in court - after all, what else could they reasonably be expected to do ?

    Ideally we would find that the military CoC had pushed these issues right up to the top, thus placing our political masters quite firmly in the dock. But I suspect that we'll find the trail ends before that, which is a great pity.

    For any in the CoC that didn't push these problems up the CoC - you deserve everything you get. Your lack of moral courage contributed to the unnecessary death of these men. Why didn't you cause a fuss ? That next OJAR, the desire to get a CO slot, pressure from the boss ? Hope it was worth it.