Identifying the individual FIT officers involved in the incident which led to the death of Ian Tomlinson isn’t easy. We know several FIT officers were present from the blue tabards on their jackets, but telling them apart is another matter – they have helmets hiding their faces, and their numbers are not prominent.
However, due to independent identification from a number of seasoned Fitwatchers, we now believe we can reveal the identity of two of them:
Steve Discombe – CO 2558 – a full time public order officer from New Scotland Yard.
Alan Palfrey – EK 127 – a part time FIT copper from Camden.
Obviously,under the circumstances, there is immense difficulty in correctly identifying these officers. However, from what we know at the moment, it seems likely these two were involved.
It is regrettable that it falls to us to attempt to identify these officers. A truly accountable police force would have expected these officers both to publicly identify themselves, and to give an open and honest account of their actions.
These two FIT officers are well known to FITwatchers, having perpetrated some particularly unpleasant, aggressive and violent policing over the years. They have been involved in climate camp policing over the last two years, and have policed the G8 as well as anti-war protests both in London and beyond.
For those who are not familiar with public order operations, police officers from CO11, like Discombe, have a major role in directing public order strategy both behind the scenes and on the ground. In this case, they may well have been directing the group of TSG officers responsible for the assault on Ian Tomlinson.
Should this be true, the FIT officers named above should share a large chunk of the responsibility for Tomlinson’s death. It is easy to blame the foot soldier, but it is the general we really want to see in the dock.