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Policing failure

Reform by crisis

By Martin Innes  


There is a recurring pattern when policing fails. It is evident in a number of cases: the Stephen Lawrence murder; the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes; the fatal assault on Ian Tomlinson; the notorious miscarriages of justice from the 1980s and 1990s, and now Hillsborough.

The pattern unfolds like this. First, there is the moment where things go wrong. The initial emergency situation is misinterpreted, causing police intervention to amplify the harm. Then comes an official definition of reality that…

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