Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis was today, most distressed to learn 300+ police officers are almost certain to be suspended, on full pay, for allowing Andrew Mitchell to cycle through the main gates at Downing Street instead of asking him to dismount and walk through the pedestrian gate.
This is an extremely serious matter. Police Officers must, without question or favour, follow the guidelines set down, no matter how courteous and helpful their 'alternative' action may be.
Information presented to me by Andrew Mitchell, and supported by video from the CCTV library, confirms that he has cycled through the main gates, at Downing Street, no less than 1000 times since the current coalition was elected to office in May 2010. Had the officers involved followed the procedures set down, there would have been no conflict on 19th September.
Each officer will be entitled to a personal hearing, but for logistical reasons, and in an effort to speed up the process, the matter will be referred to the disciplinary committee of the Football Association – their decision in the matter will be final.
Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis added, “the policy of letting motor vehicles through the gates of Downing Street would now be subject to review. In future, and take it from me – this is absolutely how it will be - only those vehicles responding to an emergency (under blues & twos) would be allowed to pass through the gates whilst carrying passengers. All other vehicles must stop at the gates, disgourge their passengers (who must then walk through the pedestrian gate) at one side, before reboarding them at the other side".