Because there is a hue and cry against Damian Green, the media underreported the remarks of Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, on Monday. They were notable, though, for their jargon-free English and their clarity. This is what she said about the ex-policemen reviving allegations of having found (legal) pornography on Mr Green’s computer nine years ago:
‘Police officers have a duty of confidentiality. We come into contact with personal information very regularly, sometimes extremely sensitive… We all know that we have a duty to protect that information and to keep it confidential. In my view, that duty endures… after you leave the service, so I believe that what this officer and, indeed, other retired officers, appear to have done, is wrong.’
‘Wrong’ is the obvious word, but it is brave of a police chief to say it about her own tribe, because, as we learnt from the ‘Plebgate’ case, the omertà of many officers claims the right to bring down prominent people who annoy them. Ms Dick will now avoid the fate of her predecessor, Bernard Hogan-Howe, who defended the indefensible during the Plebgate affair. On the other hand, surly coppers may now try to undermine her for having spoken out. She, after all, was involved in authorising the police raid on Mr Green’s offices in 2008. The raid itself was controversial enough, because it looked like police interference in politics. The porn claims, dragged up by Bob Quick and others yet again, make it look shamingly unprofessional as well.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes, which appears in this week’s Spectator