The new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police promised a break from the tenure of his predecessor Sir Ian Blair as he was unveiled as Britain's top police officer today.
Sir Paul Stephenson, flanked by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, on the steps of Scotland Yard, declared that he would take a new approach to the country’s most senior policing job.
"Ian Blair did it his way. I was a loyal deputy. Now I am going to do it my way," he said.
Sir Paul, who has been Acting Commissioner since Sir Ian was forced to resign last October, was the agreed choice of both Ms Smith and Mr Johnson, who met on Monday to conclude the two-month appointment process.
In clinching the appointment, he pipped Sir Hugh Orde, the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, to the £254,000-a-year post.
Telling reporters that he was "hugely proud" to be given the job and wanted to be "intolerant of violence, no matter where that violence comes from", he said: "My agenda for the coming years is straightforward. It is about solving crime, securing our streets, convincing all our communities that we are on their side and delivering the policing they want and being intolerant of violence in any form."
How about the violence of state-sanctioned theft of our money? Oh right, every kind of violence apart from that one.
The signal that Sir Paul would follow a new direction in leading the Met will particularly appeal to Mr Johnson who forced Sir Ian out of his job last October. During his era as chief, the force was widely pilloried by some, with Scotland Yard appearing to lurch from one crisis to the next.
He really covered himself in glory with the Damian Green thing, didn't he? Managed to get Teflon shoulders and leave some other cunt carrying the can. Expect some serious briefing from "friends of Bob Quick" in the future.
Ms Smith and Mr Johnson were anxious to emphasise that they had been unanimous in agreeing on the new Commissioner's appointment.
"Sir Paul offers the expertise and the leadership needed to inspire confidence across the entire police service and most importantly amongst the people of London," the Home Secretary said.
No he fucking doesn't. He's a corrupt remnant of Blair's time.
Mr Johnson added: "I want to plant my flag very firmly in Jacqui Smith’s remarks and stress this was a matter of almost glutinous cross-party consensus."
Fuck off, Boris. You're either a fool for believing that, a fool for being conned into this, or you've got some kind of schlenter going on which is not in this country's best interests.
Sir Paul has effectively been running the Met, the country’s biggest force, since Sir Ian was ousted. During his tenure, big operations against youth crime have cut the level of stabbings and teenage murders.
However, his period as Acting Commissioner was marred by the arrest by Scotland Yard anti-terrorist officers of Damian Green, the Conservative frontbencher, and the search of the MP’s House of Commons office during an inquiry into Home Office leaks.
The fallout from the operation - for which it emerged police did not have the correct documentation - was so catastrophic, that Sir Paul considered withdrawing his application and conceded privately that he had been damaged by the affair.
The affair led to Sir Paul clashing with Mr Johnson for intervening in a continuing police operation after the London Mayor suggested that the investigation into Mr Green would not come to anything.
How unlikely is it that Jacqui Smith is rewarding him for that little episode, eh? Quick took the blame, gold handshakes all round, and Paul has his arse firmly in the driving seat. Smart politics, pity we wanted a policeman.
Sir Paul left the post of Chief Constable of Lancashire to become Sir Ian’s deputy in 2005 and has established himself as a vital cog in ensuring that the Met runs relatively smoothly despite its well-publicised troubles.
The Met faces a series of major challenges. The terrorism threat has waned but preparations for the security operation at the London 2012 Olympics are lagging behind schedule amid wrangling over budgets.
Organised crime is a threat - especially drugs, arms and people-trafficking - but one that politicians have paid less attention to because of a concentration on neighbourhood policing. The Met will also have to brace itself for a potential rise in burglary and street robbery as the recession bites.
Sure. Because the middle classes are all going to turn into feral scrotes, aren't they?
Immediate reaction to his appointment was mixed this morning. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), along with the former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, welcomed the move.
Anything Ken likes is a bad thing. So that's another strike.
“He brings a wealth of professionalism and experience in UK policing into this challenging role," Ken Jones, the Acpo president, said. “The business of policing our capital, protecting Londoners and leading the Met is in good hands."
More egregious mutual masturbation from the head of a private company that is also a quango sucking up your tax money. Fuck off, you unelected thief.
However, Brian Paddick, an ex-assistant commissioner and Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate, said the necessary reform of the police service would "take a backseat" under Sir Paul.
"I think he is more likely to work with the predominant macho male culture than Sir Ian Blair was and therefore he will be more popular with the ground floor but not necessarily for the right reasons," he said.