Less haste more heed may well be the lesson learnt by Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick today. This morning he exited a car in Downing Street carry plans for an anti-terrorism raid. This evening, after the top sheet was photographed clearly giving far too much information, 10 suspects were arrested in raids.
The obvious conclusion to be drawn was that Quick was entering Downing Street to brief on the plans that were captured. However, as the details on the agency photograph were zoomed across the world the raid and arrests were moved up in Liverpool, Manchester and Lancashire. Evening raids of this sort are unusual so it is highly likely that as a result of the slow-wittedness and hasty exit of Quick from that car this operation was put under risk if it wasn't proceeded with immediately.
Whether the police were ready to make these arrests at this time we will no doubt find out if the suspects are in fact held. If they were still gathering information in preparation for it and were maybe waiting for some final piece to slot into place before going in, may well mean that what they could take is what had to be taken.
In a bad few days for the police this failure to protect operationally sensitive data is just another sign that our "police state" is simply not competent to deal with such sensitive data. Whether that is their own operational plans or our DNA or whatever they want to keep neither the police nor this Government seem capable to handling things with the trust they would want, which we should be unwilling to give them anyway.
****Breaking News**** Channel 4 News have just announced that the officer seen beating and flooring Ian Tomlinson, shortly before he died of a heart attack when he wasn't protesting at G20, has voluntarily come forward.
****Breaking Comment**** Still on Channel 4 News Shami Chakrabarti is right that is doesn't look good. Brain Paddick whilst trying to defend the enquiry and the process is not coming across strong enough against the evidence from the three cameras that captured the final minutes of Ian Tomlinson's existance.