The Yard may probe Red Cap deaths

#2
Mad_Moriarty said:
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
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.

PAW
 
#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
4(T) said:
I would welcome a criminal investigation, if it followed the trail of responsibility to the top....
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
Northern_Biff said:
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.
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
4(T) said:
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....
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
Dilfor said:
4(T) said:
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....
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.
Sensible words Dilfor on an emotive issue. Good post.
 
#13
Dilfor said:
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 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.
 
#16
"I dunnit, but society is to blame"

"Don't worry sir, we'll be interviewing them as well..."
 
#17
One_of_the_strange said:
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.
OOTS

It's a while since I read the BOI, but I recall a web of related low-level decisions which were wrong in retrospect, not 'issues' that could be passed up the chain of command. Rather than read the thing again, if you have examples of such factors could you point them out?

For example, as I recall, the decision to limit personal small arms ammunition scalings prior to recovery of the BG may have been a partially relevant factor in hindsight, but was not seen to be a huge problem at the time - and had feck all to do with politicians. Ditto internal BG co-ordination of patrols/briefings etc.

Without examples, I feel reluctantly drawn to view your point of view as coming from the 'someone must be to blame' culture.

Lastly I was not involved in the incident any way, but I think your final comment is ill-considered in the extreme.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#18
OldRedCap said:
Dilfor said:
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 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.
Quite agree. It's not the individual on the ground, it's the inexperience of the Officers (not just the DE's but a fair amount of the LEs as well), but this is combined with the internal restraints put upon the SIB by the CoC, as was evident in the Sgt Roberts enquiry. The last PM sent out DEs. He must have thought that it would be all over by XMas. But then there's the internal politics to add to it. One PM is pro SIB, the next fella hates you. That sort of managment can't go on and surely they must now see that between them, they are creating more problems than they are resolving. It is so counterproductive. At the end of the day, when you run a business on personal terms, it will have a knock on effect all the way down the line.

As for asking the RAF P to review any case, well this might afford them some recognition, but it would be better all round to ask one of the Constabulary's to do it, surely. It's what the Constabularies do themselves, why not follow their lead. The RAF don't have the experience and all that is happening here is that someone is throwing them a life line. Between them and the Navy combined they don't have the workload of the SIB, nor have they ever and nor will they. Disband them and put them in DPM, Christ the SIB could do with the manpower. I appreciate that there's some great people in both of these organisations, but they need employing. This subject can open up a whole can of worms relative to Defence policing, which needs reviewing badly. If they intend to embrace 'joint' issues, then why not go all the way and start by having just one PM. Mind you, if they did that, the two lads in blue would be out of a job and when it comes right down to it and to bring this back onto topic, it's all about saving certain jobs.

I would like to see this matter reviewed by the Met. If anything, the esult may be that nothing has been covered up, everything that could be done was done and finally the families can have 'closure' (and I hate that word, it's so bloody American, but I can't think of another at this time).
 
#19
To quote from the original BBC article:
"Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner said the men should not have been given antiquated radios and inadequate ammunition..."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6045242.stm

I may well be wrong, but I find it difficult to believe that everyone involved thought this was an adequate state of affairs at the time - ie just after invading someone else's country and removing all previous security institutions. I do find it very difficult to believe that no-one at any level spoke out against inadequate comms and inadequate ammo. If no-one did then clearly my remarks are intemperate and I would withdraw them.

I do take your point about the "someone must be to blame culture", but coming from a weekday civvy background where employers who let their staff get killed unnecessarily find themselves in court I find the lack of willingness to do so in the Army perplexing. I do not understand why an organisation that preaches responsibility and leadership suddenly goes quiet when, say, someone gets killed because he was not issued ECBA and a tank gunner was not trained to shoot at close range where sights were known to be inaccurate ?

What I do know is that an civvy employer who fails to issue correct PPE or train their employees on machinery they use is liable. This liability extends all the way up the chain to the top but the harshest penalties are reserved for that level of management that was informed about it but failed to take action, even if that was just to push it up the chain of command.

Was it reasonable to expect UK forces on Telic to be properly equipped and trained ? - I believe it was. Was it reasonable to expect deficiencies in this area to be pushed up the CoC to the highest level ? I believe it was. Was it reasonable to expect these problems to be identified by commanders ? - I believe it was. Please, tell me why I'm wrong.

So, why then did the politicos not find a memo in their intray warning them ? Because, someone, somewhere in the CoC decided not to. And I think I'd let my original comments stand in this case.
 
#20
One_of_the_strange said:
To quote from the original BBC article:
"Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner said the men should not have been given antiquated radios and inadequate ammunition..."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6045242.stm

I may well be wrong, but I find it difficult to believe that everyone involved thought this was an adequate state of affairs at the time - ie just after invading someone else's country and removing all previous security institutions. I do find it very difficult to believe that no-one at any level spoke out against inadequate comms and inadequate ammo. If no-one did then clearly my remarks are intemperate and I would withdraw them.

I do take your point about the "someone must be to blame culture", but coming from a weekday civvy background where employers who let their staff get killed unnecessarily find themselves in court I find the lack of willingness to do so in the Army perplexing. I do not understand why an organisation that preaches responsibility and leadership suddenly goes quiet when, say, someone gets killed because he was not issued ECBA and a tank gunner was not trained to shoot at close range where sights were known to be inaccurate ?

What I do know is that an civvy employer who fails to issue correct PPE or train their employees on machinery they use is liable. This liability extends all the way up the chain to the top but the harshest penalties are reserved for that level of management that was informed about it but failed to take action, even if that was just to push it up the chain of command.

Was it reasonable to expect UK forces on Telic to be properly equipped and trained ? - I believe it was. Was it reasonable to expect deficiencies in this area to be pushed up the CoC to the highest level ? I believe it was. Was it reasonable to expect these problems to be identified by commanders ? - I believe it was. Please, tell me why I'm wrong.

So, why then did the politicos not find a memo in their intray warning them ? Because, someone, somewhere in the CoC decided not to. And I think I'd let my original comments stand in this case.
Is it reasonable to assume that you have the slightest inkling of what a soldier does or thinks, or how the Army operates on ops? No, didn't think so.

PAW
 

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