Saturday, 2 Mar 2024

‘Drunk’ police being investigated for ‘throwing petrol bombs’

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Police threw petrol bombs at each other and started a massive fire after getting drunk on a riot training course, it has been alleged. Five British officers are being investigated over an incident in which a pool car was destroyed and 150 fire extinguishers were used to put out the blaze.

A source said five Brits, from various forces including one from the Metropolitan Police, and two Canadian officers went out drinking after a day of public order training.

They then returned worse for wear to their accommodation at the Met Police’s tactical training centre in Gravesend, Kent.

The officers allegedly got hold of the petrol bombs used in riot training and began throwing them at each other, until a pool car used for driving around the 100-acre site caught fire.

Mail Online reports the officers did not call the fire brigade because they wanted to avoid the incident being officially logged.

Instead, it is claimed the group tackled the flames themselves but it needed 150 fire extinguishers and the pool car was completely destroyed.

The Met Police confirmed one officer is under investigation for arson at the training site on March 23 last year. He has been placed on restricted duties.

The training centre, which reportedly cost £41 million to build, has accommodation on site for around 300 people.

Officers doing public order training learn techniques in a mock town where they prepare for riots by facing mobs throwing real petrol bombs, bricks, glass and glass bottles.

In the fake town is pretend shops, a bank, an estate agent, a Tube station, and flats.

The source alleged:“Most people have done stupid things when drinking too much and showing off, but these are police officers at a training away trip who have accessed dangerous incendiary items and started chucking them about.

“These are the highly trained individuals who are supposed to be keeping us safe.”

The incident came two weeks before the outgoing Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick visited the centre on her last day in the job.

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A Met Police spokesperson said: “The Met’s directorate of professional standards is investigating an allegation that an officer attached to public order committed arson at a police training facility in Kent on Wednesday, 23 March, while he was off duty.

“A mandatory referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“The officer has been placed on restricted duties.”

An IOPC spokesperson said: “Having carefully considered a mandatory conduct referral from the Metropolitan Police Service, received on March 23, 2022, we decided the matter did require investigation and it was appropriate for the force’s directorate of professional standards to carry it out.”

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