7/7 coroner attacks 'jargon'

The coroner in charge of the 7/7 inquests criticised emergency services bosses today for using too much jargon.

Lady Justice Hallett said some terms were so cumbersome and complex that one 999 worker might not know what a counterpart did when arriving at an emergency scene.



On the hearing's final day and bringing five months of evidence to a close - with a verdict expected at a later date - Lady Justice Hallett let fly at Gary Reason, assistant commissioner of London Fire Brigade.



She spoke out as mention was made of "a conference demountable unit from a management centre" - which is a portable incident room.



She said: "As far as I can tell, management jargon is taking over organisations and perfectly sensible, straightforward titles are being changed.



"This isn't just somebody being pedantic about the use of English, which it appears to be... when it comes to managing incidents, people don't understand what the other person is."



The coroner said the problem had been an ongoing theme in hearing evidence.



She said: "I don't know whether a crew manager is somebody who is responsible for supplies or is used to fighting fires. I have no idea."



She added that clarity was key when crews were trying to ensure safety at a disaster scene, saying: "What worries me is all you senior people of these organisations are allowing yourselves to be taken over by management jargon and, as I say, it's not just directed at you... I just think that you people at the top need to say we have to communicate with people in plain English."



Her comments caused laughter in the courtroom after months of listening to the coroner stop witnesses to explain acronyms and specialist terms.



She finished off: "So if you could do anything when you meet up with your fellow senior officers in whatever organisations to encourage the use of plain English, I, for one, would be enormously grateful and I think it would make everybody just that little bit more effective."







It is the seventy-third day of evidence today into the deaths of 52 innocent victims killed on July 7 2005 by fundamentalist Mohammed Sidique Khan and three accomplices on London's transport network.



Though the inquest's evidence finishes today, there will be a wait before verdicts.



Two days have been set aside for legal argument on March 10 and 11.



This will give concerned parties a chance to say something about the evidence and the scope for verdicts.



The coroner will then retire.



Lady Justice Hallett has not indicated how long it will be before she comes back to court with verdicts though it is expected to be before April 20 when the court rises for Easter.









Today Mr Reason, the penultimate witness, focused largely on the fire brigade's actions at King's Cross.



The inquest had already heard there was a delay of nearly 30 minutes in getting firefighters into the station and that they delayed, thinking there could be a chemical or biological attack below, despite travellers emerging showing no signs.



Hugo Keith QC, counsel to the inquest, criticised the lack of trust between emergency services who spent time separately checking there was no biological or chemical attack.



He asked if the tannoy system could have been used to announce it was safe to go below ground.



Mr Reason said: "If the command structure is working correctly as it is designed to do then the associated resources will get a briefing about those hazards," and "firefighters and other agencies will be deployed accordingly."



Mr Keith said the point was that on 7/7 many of the "incident commanders" could not find one another to discuss the issue.



The final witness, the coroner's officer, Detective Chief Superintendent Doug McKenna, debunked several conspiracy theories surrounding 7/7.



Investigations showed there was nothing to suggest the explosives were placed under the Tube carriages, said Mr McKenna.



Nor was there anything to link the explosives to terrorist exercises carried out before 7/7 - and nothing suggesting the explosives were detonated by anyone other than the four suicide bombers.



The policeman also dismissed suggestions there was a possible fifth bomber who had been seen with the quartet at Luton railway station as they travelled to the capital.



There was a BMW driver seen at 6.58am but he got on the train without the killers.



Two other men were seen near the bombers but were eliminated from the inquiry as they were still on the platform when the bombers left.



"There is nothing to suggest any contact between the four bombers and any other person at Luton railway station," said the detective.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Sport
footballLive: All the latest from today's Premier League matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee