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Thursday, 5 July 2012

image for Metropolitan Police claim "We will not take any Prisoners" comment was not meant to have been taken literally

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe says he will choose his words more carefully when commenting on his police forces vigilance during the upcoming Olympic Games, especially during discussions with Mayor Boris Johnson.

Confusion arose during a series of e-mails between London's mayor and the head of its police force as the pair discussed upcoming policing arrangements regarding the prevention of terrorism.

In an e-mail dated 24 June Hogan-Howe wrote:

"Without doubt, our main objective will be to protect the athletes and members of the public, I assure you Mr. Mayor, during the Olympic Games, the Metropolitan Police will be taking no prisoners."

In his reply Johnson wrote:

"Thank you for your recent e-mail. However it is imperative that Metropolitan continue to make arrests during the event for all offences. While I admire your devotion to protecting athletes and spectators it has been, is and will be the Police's responsibility to make arrests and take prisoners, irrespective of the crime or its location during the games. Please do not negate this responsibility."

Confused, the Commissioner wrote back:

"Mr. Mayor, please disregard my comment regarding taking no prisoners. What I meant is that the police will not be taking any shit during this period."

The reply:

"Commissioner, that goes without saying. London's sewage system dates back to the mid-1800s. It includes emergency overflows into the Rivers Thames and Lee to avoid flooding streets and homes with sewage during particularly heavy rainfall.

There are 57 overflows, which discharge diluted sewage into the Thames 50 to 60 times a year. Widespread heavy rainfall can lead to over a million tonnes of untreated sewage and rainwater spilling into the rivers.

We are working with Thames Water and other partners to support the construction of two tunnels that will carry away storm wastewater to Beckton sewage treatment works. These tunnels will greatly reduce storm discharges and improve the quality of the water in the River Thames. Commissioner, I do not expect your force to take on this responsibility as yet, and I do not expect your officers to take any shit, games generated or not anywhere, and for the foreseeable future, the removal of sewage will still fall under the remit of the Greater London Authority. Please stop wasting my time and talking shit."

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