Goodbye Ian Blair

By Londonist Last edited 120 months ago
Goodbye Ian Blair

Though we never knew you at all. As Sir Ian Blair 'enjoys' his last day as Met police commissioner, we feel we should take a look back at his time as London's top cop. He was only in office for less than four years but blimey, what years...

7/7 attacks and aftermath: probably the defining episode of Blair's tenure came less than six months after he took over as commissioner. Police response was swift – far too swift in the case of Jean Charles de Menezes. Controversy surrounded Blair about when he knew the wrong man had been killed and whether he misled the public about Menezes' innocence.

Racism: Tarique Ghaffur's accusations of discrimination and a boycott by the National Black Police Association will be what people remember, rather than Blair's success in increasing recruitment of minority officers and his commitment to equal opportunities.

Politicisation: those who accuse Blair of meddling in politics won't shed too many tears over his problems with Mayor Boris Johnson.

Crime: however, surely what matters most to Londoners is whether the city's top policeman was any good at, you know, policing? The latest figures speak for themselves: total reported crime at a ten year low and robberies, knife and gun crime falling significantly.

With Sir Ian still surrounded by bickering and his successor still unknown we would like to take a moment to say bye-bye to the head of our Old Bill. Did he have the grace to hold himself? Only time – and you – will tell.

By Rachel Holdsworth

Last Updated 28 November 2008