HC Deb 03 November 1989 vol 159 c365W
Mr. Bernie Grant

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to how many police officers and other personnel were used in the raid on Broadwater Farm by the police on Friday 29 September; if any armed police officers were used; how many press, radio and television journalists accompanied the police, and representing which newspapers, radio and television stations; how many observers accompanied the police and from where; what briefing was given to the observers and the press by the police; and where and for how long the observers and the press were kept incommunicado.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that 229 police officers were involved in the operation but none of them was armed. Eight media organisations accompanied the police. There were four personnel (one reporter, three crew) from Independent Television News, three (one reporter, two crew) from BBC News, two (one reporter, one photographer) from the Press Association, and one journalist from each ofThe Mail on Sunday, BBC Radio News, the News of the World, the Tottenham and Hornsey Journal and Independent Radio News. Four observers accompanied the police, of which three were members of the Haringey police liaison committee and the fourth was the director of criminal justice studies at Reading university. All the observers and the media representatives were present throughout the entire main briefing given to the police officers at the police training centre at Hendon. They were incommunicado from the time they joined police early on the morning of 29 September until about 5 pm that afternoon when the operation commenced.