Letter: Gays not warned
A week before the bomb, police suspected that Old Compton Street might be a target. Accordingly, officers alerted some gay businesses and organisations.
This alert was, unfortunately, badly executed. The gay rights group, Stonewall, was posted a police warning dated 27 April, but this letter did not arrive until 30 April (the day of the bombing). Since the police had serious concerns about the gay community being attacked, why was this warning not phoned or faxed to Stonewall, and to other key gay rights organisations?
It was also a mistake for the police not to use their own community consultation structures to alert the most obvious and important gay groups: those that are involved in police liaison through the London Lesbian & Gay Policing Initiative (LLGPI). None of these organisations received any warning.
The most serious police misjudgement was, by far, the decision to warn some gay bars, but not the wider gay public. Because the police did not issue a public alert about the possibility of gay venues being bombed, most homosexuals did not take the threat seriously. They heard Sir Paul Condon and Jack Straw suggesting an exclusively racist motive for the bombings, and assumed that the gay community was not at risk.
I put it to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner that he should have gone on national television on 27 April to advise the gay community that it was a potential target, and announce publicly that Old Compton Street and other gay districts were under police surveillance. This might have deterred the bomber.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove