Met Police chief in web spat with Ken Livingstone’s ex-advisor Lee Jasper

16:42 17 February 2012

Lee Jasper

Lee Jasper

PA Archive/Press Association Images

London’s top cop tussled with a former advisor of Ken Livingtone during a live web-chat today - as Lee Jasper accused the Metropolitan Police of losing the trust of black people in the capital city, causing relations to plummet to a 30-year low.

Mr Jasper, who was Race advisor to Mr Livingstone during his tenure in City Hall, claimed Operation Trident, which investigates black-on-black crime, had been “fatally compromised” by Mayor Boris Johnson, whom he accused of “hijacking” the scheme.

“The MPS has lost the confidence of black communities through massive year on year increases in stop and search and controversial deaths in police custody,” rapped Mr Jasper during the webchat about gangs on the Met’s website, this morning.

“How are you going to repair and restore confidence” he demanded.

Commissioner Hogan-Howe replied quickly, stating “I disagree with almost everything you have said.

Defending the Met’s gang strategy, he said: “This is building on the good work of Trident, rather than compromising it, I believe it is better to confront the problem rather than ignore it.”

Rejecting Mr Jasper’s suggestion that policing was being politicised under the Mayor, Mr Hogan-Howe said: “I am interested in crime fighting, not elections.”

Elsewhere in the hour-long web chat, the commissioner was asked how he would boost relations between police officers and communities, by gangmediation.

“I think there are three other things that we need to concentrate on 1. Firstly improve neighbourhood policing 2. Get better at stop and search 3. Our youth engagement strategy needs to be bolder,” said Mr Hogan-Howe.

“All of this is hard work with a population of 7.5 million, but we can do it.”

Mr Jasper resigned from his post at Mayor Livingstone’s side in March 2008, amid claims of steamy emails sent to a woman and also allegations of financial improperity – of which he was later cleared.

Mr Hogan-Howe was the favoured candidate at City Hall to assume the top job at Scotland Yard, last September, following the resignation of previous incumbant Paul Stephenson, in July.

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