Woolwich attack: Ex-Met boss calls for public assurances from security services

09:51 24 May 2013

Soldiers walk past floral tributes outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Soldiers walk past floral tributes outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A former Met Commissioner has said the public need to know whether the security services are operating properly following the Woolwich killing, as reports found the two attackers were known to MI5.

Lord Blair said it was important a statement was made clearing up whether or not bad decisions were taken by the services in their monitoring of the two men accused of killing Drummer Lee Rigby.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme this morning, he said: “I think it’s important for the public to have somebody say within the limits of legality that either something was mistaken, decisions were badly taken, or they weren’t, because I think it’s important for the public to know that security services and the police are operating properly.”

But even with the necessary resources, officials must have “very high levels of suspicion”, he added.

On the same programme, the government’s communities secretary Eric Pickles stressed the Prime Minister was “very clear” he wanted to see an investigation about “what went right and what went wrong” as it emerged the alleged killers - reported as Michael Adebolajo, 28, and 22-year-old Michael Adebowale - were known to security services.

Ex-MI6 officer Richard Barrett told the BBC it was “enormously hard” to identify that someone is going to commit a crime like this.

“When does a person who expresses radical views, who joined a radical group, flip over to be a violent extremist, somebody who’s going to commit a crime like this?” he said.

“And to find the signals, the sort of red flags as it were I think is enormously hard. And I imagine these two people themselves didn’t have any intention to commit a crime like this until relatively recently before they did.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Friday, February 12, 2016
Simpson-Kent was captured in Ghana after fleeing the UK following the death of his partner Sian Blake and their two children (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)

Sian Blake’s partner has been arrested on suspicion of the murders of the ex-EastEnders actress and their two children, police have said.

Friday, February 12, 2016
Police are keen to identify this man (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Police are asking south London women to be vigilant if travelling alone and on foot in the early hours, after three women were attacked within four miles of each other.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Police are investigating attempted child abductions

A man has been charged after reports that a number of schoolchildren were approached by someone impersonating a police officer in Hornsey.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Police would like to speak with this man (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A 27-year-old man was punched in the face and pummelled as he lay on the ground in a sustained and unprovoked attack at a Bloomsbury bus stop.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
The two men police want to identify

A horrifying attack in Shoreditch has left a man with a fractured skull after he was beaten with wooden stakes.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
British Transport Police want to speak to this man about the incident at East Croydon station (Photo: BTP)

Police are hunting a thug who pushed a man onto the train tracks at East Croydon station, seriously injuring him and leaving him to be rescued by staf “moments before an oncoming train came through”.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport