Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Police Federation Letter re Yvonne Fletcher

This is not the usual type of posting in this blog but I felt that this was of such importance that it was worth publishing and debate.

The following is a letter that the Police Federation of England and Wales have sent to the Prime Minister. I do realise there is a bigger picture here, but this just shows how far this Government is prepared to stoop to try and win some trade to try and help get us out of the crap they have dropped us in.


Dear Prime Minister, Together with the 140,000 police officers throughout England and Wales that the Police Federation represents, I was shocked, appalled and disgusted at the revelations in the Sunday Times that the Libyan killer of PC Yvonne Fletcher will never be brought to justice in Britain following a deal struck by your government.

This is an absolute disgrace. PC Fletcher was gunned down in cold blood 25 years ago by a cowardly and callous killer who managed to flee to Libya. Now we discover your government rolled over three years ago abandoning any attempt to bring Yvonne’s killer to face the UK courts and justice. Only you and your colleagues know the true reasons why such an arrangement was agreed but for those I represent and for a large number of the public the timing of the agreement would suggest your government was prepared to sell its soul for trade deals being negotiated at the time.

This case is particularly close to my heart, not least because I attended the same school as Yvonne, albeit a few years ahead of her, and then our lives took a similar track again as we both joined the Metropolitan Police. Yvonne was an absolute professional with a promising policing career ahead; her untimely and tragic murder whilst serving this country needs proper resolution for her family, friends and past colleagues.

I appreciate that this deal was secured under the watch of the previous Prime Minister, but police officers throughout this country need to know that the dangers they face are understood by the government of the day and, if tragedy strikes, that political leaders will do everything in their power to ensure that justice is served.

I look forward to hearing what assurances you can give and what actions your government will undertake to bring Yvonne’s killer to face a jury in a UK court.

Yours sincerely,
Paul McKeever
Chairman, The Police Federation of England and Wales


  1. Let us remember not only that WPC Yvonne Fletcher was killed by a Libyan gunman firing at demonstrators from Diplomatically protected premises, but that she died hard. Shot in the abdomen.

    I'm told that sustaining such a wound is a very painful way to die. Now the UK is doing deals with the same regime? Words fail me.

  2. It is appalling that the Govt. have done this. While out and about in London I have happened across the plaque that remembers her a n umber of times and I have felt a rush of disgust towards the Libyan(s) who got away with this. I do not mean to marginalise the deaths of other police officers, but this one along with the death of PC Blakelock is by far the most callous. To think that someone feels they can lean out of a window and take a pot shot at someone simply because they think they have immunity is shocking as it shows their disregard for life as well as illustrates what a s**t hole their own country must be. To discover that the UK govt has, by it's (in)action condoned that act is nothing short of disgusting and unfortunately shows what little respect they have for the people.
    So this is the second time the Libyans have been forgiven. The media in the US has still not let go of the fact that the Scottish courts let the Lockerbie bombers go home. Both acts are appalling. investment process

  3. I agree that the government's approach to this is cynical and Yvonne Fletcher's life has been treated as a very cheap commodity. You are right to challenge them on this.
    But I fear the situation is actually even worse than described. The last week's revived news coverage of the case, including the Sunday Times article, has failed to take any account of the findings of the 2-year independent re-investigation mounted in the 1990s by Channel 4's "Dispatches", which remain compelling. The programme makers concluded that the fatal shot could not have come from the Libyan embassy, as a) the bullet entered behind from a 60-70 degree elevation, whereas the 11 shots fired from the 1st floor of the embassy were at a 15 degree angle (the embassy lacks high enough floors to get close to a 60 degree angle and gun residue was found only at a first floor window), and b) the fatal bullet was tumbling, at the end of its range, whereas WPC Fletcher was just 30 yards from where machine gun shots were fired out of the embassy. The documentary was recently posted on Youtube, in 8 segments. See for example:
    to come to your own conclusion.
    The implications are deeply shocking but moreorless inescapable, as the re-examined forensic evidence is so damning.
    Note the carefully negotiated formulation some years ago whereby Libya accepted only "general responsibility". Any deal (as reported) to try a Libyan suspect in Libya evades thorough examination of the forensic evidence in a UK court.

  4. The government also has to apologise to the many ex Police Officers who were serving at the time of the shooting, who have been let down by this self serving, corrupt, lying and politically ignorant short term thinking governement.
    Remember Labour have let her down, but Blair and Brown have also let the soldiers who fought for them based on Blairs lies and now fight in Afghanistan with crap equipment that leads to loss of our soldiers lives.
    When I think of Brown and his lying bunch of pratts I could spew.

  5. BOTH governments: this one and the preceding Conservative government.

  6. I wholeheartedly agree with the preceding statements, but do wonder whether ACPO has had any input here. I would not be surprised if they had.

  7. And not only that, but the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has sent serving officers to Lybia to assist in their training!

  8. Mr McKeever was far too kind to allow Mr Brown the opportunity to say that the deal struck was one approved by Mr Blair. Let us not forget that it was Mr Brown - despite his protestations to the contrary - who ultimately approved the release of that other Libyan murder on compassionate grounds. No compassion for the families of the victims, please note. Moreover, what must our American cousins be thinking to see that not only will this government betray our closest allies, but are also willing to do so for their own bastions of civilisation? Sounds dramatic? No. I have a family to support. What faith have they that my sacrifice - and thousands of other officers - are necessary to this government and our country? As much as the widows and widowers of our most loyal citizens fighting in Afghanistan, no doubt. Moral virtue is worthless compared to the desperation of this government to save a few shillings in order to reverse the catastrophy they have created. I feel betrayed. I have been betrayed....we ALL have.

  9. This is an important letter. I'm glad McKeever wrote it, and I'm glad you posted it. It keeps the issue alive and it also educates younger officers, like myself, who never even knew about the shooting and the subsequent political betrayal.

    I would like to share the words inscribed on the Canadian Police and Peace Officer's Memorial in Ottawa:


    Rest in peace, PC Fletcher.

  10. I felt this letter was both timely and appropriate. Yvonne's sergeant (now retired) is a member of my extended family. His helmet, lying in the empty cordoned-off street where she fell, was a prominent and poignant symbol as it graced the pages of our national papers after Yvonne's murder - A symbol of the reasonableness of British policing against a background of an embassy representing the repressive, terrorist-funding Libyan regime. A previoius comment suggested that ACPO would have been consulted somewhere along the line. Why should they? The Police Federation was created by Act of Parliament, ACPO wasn't.

  11. Why would ACPO be consulted ? ACPO is a private limited company.

  12. NPIA is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACPO. Not only is ACPO a private limited company, it also considers itself to be the EQUAL of our elected government (see their web site where they proclaim that they are "in equal and active partnership with government"). As they clearly think so highly of themselves, it is surely natural that they should be consulted, both about the sordid deal in question, and about whether they should profit from it through their NPIA subsidiary.

  13. A sad time for the British Police officer, I remember this when I was just a kid and still no justice

  14. What I find disgusting about this unsavoury affair is the dispicable way the government appear to be treating this matter, apparently in colusion with senior managers who without protest appear to have allowed members of their forces to train libyan authorities, the officers themselves and the federation should question their own loyalties either in being complicit in the facilitation of the training or in not displaying their disaproval. People be warned your colleagues appear to have got short memories, The home office petition has only got one month to run the initial momentum seems to be waining and there are only less than 10,000 signatures I suspect the majority of these are from members of the public there are over 200,000 serving Police officers in the UK plus PCSO`s and support staff not counting the number of retired police officers and staff and there are only 10,000 signatures DISGUSTING!(Before anybody asks yes I have signed!)

  15. Thatcher decision to allow Reagan to bombard the lybian government was a good opportunity to teach a lesson to Lybia's dictator that no one is above the Law. As I write this comment there are so far about 200 people killed in Lybia if not more. It would be a mistake for US and UK not to take the Thatcher Reagan firm decision to support the Lybian people and Yvonne Fletcher unjust end of her life. Adel Talhi