HAMPSHIRE police officers were sent to a different part of London during last summer’s riots while Croydon burned, it has been claimed.
Officers called in to support the Metropolitan Police were reported to have felt ‘disgust’ after being turned away from a burning furniture shop by a supervisor.
A 36-year-old sergeant said he was part of a contingent of nine vans of officers from Thames Valley and Hampshire police that arrived to help as the situation in London escalated.
He describes being turned back after hearing a conversation on the police radio system between his controller and the Met supervisor.
In a study conducted by the London School of Economics and the Guardian newspaper he is quoted as having said: ‘The controller [said]: “You’ve got nine vans coming down the hill from Thames Valley and Hampshire.” And he said: “Cancel.” [Meanwhile] we can see Croydon burning.’
The sergeant said he and his colleagues in his van felt disgusted by the command to cancel and it had a ‘massive’ effect on their morale.
Some officers also complained that the Met’s use of its own radio channels – rather than the Airwave system used by other forces – made receiving messages from its officers difficult.