Earlier this month Pc Clive Chamberlain, Dorset Police Federation chairman , posted his long service and Queen's Jubilee medals back to the Prime Minister in protest when PC Stephen Oake was deniedthe award of a George Cross. (Stephen was the son of Robin Oake once ACC of the GMP and also CC of the Isle of Man Constabulary)
He had been nominated by for the George Cross, the highest civilian gallantry award, by the Chief Constable of GMP, Michael Todd. Tony Blair refused to intervene, although he had not failed to miss the photo opportunity to be present with Cherie at his funera in Manchester Cathedral. His official spkoesman said.."''It wouldn't be right for the PM to interfere in the Awards process'' ... Ho.Ho.Ho. (Perhaps the Karaoke King hadn't rcvd a
backhander "loan". ?)
A Prime Ministers petition to reverse the decision and award the medal , on the No 10 website obtained 8,000 signaturers before closing.
The 40 year old GMP policeman, Stephen Oake was sent to a flat in Crumpsall, N Manchester in January 4 years ago . He didn't know what he was there for, and neither would the Metropolitan Police tell the GMP why they wanted the occupants. There was what is called a, "breakdown in communications"... it was a breakdown that lead to Pc Oake's sudden death and destroyed the life of his wife and child.
One of the people in the flat was an alleged Al Quaeda operative, Kamel Bourgass , who was connected with the massive non producing "ricin" factory. After an hour when no-one knew what was going on and nobody had been arrested, Bourgass, one of the 4 men in the flat, got a kitchen knife out of a kitchen door and fatally stabbed PC Oake who was in plain clothes and not wearing protective body armour. The HSE undertook an enquiry as GMP policy is that uniformed officers must wear vests on duty. However, detectives only have to wear them if the risk evaluation reveals potential physical danger. The HSE inquiry examined the intelligence provided before the raid and the briefing given to the officers before they went into the address. They took no action.
It subsequently turned out after the trial that Bourgass was a failed asylum seeker who had not been deported - Tory vice-chair Dr Liam Fox , claimed, that as a result the government were "culpable" for PC Oake's death.)
An inscribed granite stone trimmed with gold was erected 6 months ago outside the Crumpsall flat where Stephen Oake died which was paid for by Michael Winner’s Police Memorial Trust.
Overnight on Tuesday this memorial has been smashed and pieces thrown into the car park of Cheetham Hill Police Station, just over a mile away.
The pieces of stone damaged two marked police cars and another car belonging to an officer at the station in Cheetham Hill Road. No one was about at the time and no one was injured.
His father Robin said: "He would not have wanted any recognition, he was doing it for his colleagues." He added: "Certainly his bravery needed some recognition and he got that of course at the Old Bailey trial. "At the end of the day, as a Christian man, Steve's reward is in heaven."
Paul Kelly, chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation of the decision to refuse the George Medal....
"If - as I believe - the Prime Minister is aware of this decision and concurs with it, then he has let down Stephen, his family, my colleagues and every law enforcement officer in the country. He threw himself into extreme danger when he could have stepped aside and waited for back-up. He is a true hero and I am sickened by this decision."
Here is a description of the murder by a UK leading journalist, a great friend of the forces of Laura Norder just after the Bourgass trial .... One million pounds to whoever identifies the author.. (usual rules apply)
Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorism squad appears to have destroyed a particular terrorist cell of which Bourgass was a member, the operation which netted him by Manchester police, in which Bourgass managed to kill DC Oake, was a sorry saga of eye-watering incompetence.
Advance surveillance of a flat which was thought to house a terrorism suspect failed to uncover the fact that Bourgass was there too. The pre-operation briefing, which was in many respects utterly inadequate, took place in a noisy police station garage so that at least one officer had difficulty hearing.
The police team did not take specialist arrest kits. Officers found that their mobile phones would not work. None of the officers was wearing body armour, and Bourgass was not handcuffed.
The officer in charge of this debacle has reportedly been disciplined - but is still employed somewhere in the police service. In other words, no-one has taken responsibility for a display of professional incompetence which left an officer dead.