Open publishing: even the Met’s in on it

As reported by Bristle: members of the Metropolitan police have apparently demanded that Wikipedia remove a chart showing the current structure of the Territorial Support Group, or TSG – aka the riot squad. In a message posted to the talk page for the TSG, an officer writes:

Hello, this is a message from the Metropolitan Police Service. We respect your right to postings, but on this occassion may we please respectfully request that you kindly remove the organisational chart from this page.

We have received a request from TSG CO20 for it to be removed as it is somewhat out of date, and contains officers names which could compromise their safety.

If you would to talk to a member of the Metropolitan Police Service Territorial Support Group to confirm this request, we would be happy to contact you, directly.

Many thanks indeed.

In response to a message suggesting a new, more up to date chart be added (in light of police names and numbers being – supposedly – publicly accessible information):

Hello, thank you for your reply. I have asked the MPS Territorial Support Group to write a note to you, and/or to provide an updated chart without names. It is best to err on the side of caution when anybody’s safety could be compromised, and hope you would sympathise. Names and charts etc are fully open to freedom of information requests etc, but posting them globally onto web pages is of course your choice, but cause for some concern amongst the TSG. Many thanks for your kind consideration.

“Some concern” – almost as though they suspect the public might harbour ill will towards them. I can’t imagine why…

The account responsible for the message has apparently been previously identified as belonging to the Met.

In addition to the message on the talk page quoted above, the same account has been responsible for the removal of press coverage critical of the force’s Metcall service. It was also responsible for neutering language used in an article on deaths in police custody.

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2 comments so far

  1. brainduck on

    Dear Police,

    May I please respectfully request that you could you remove my name, photo, description, address, fingerprints, and all the other stuff you know about me? Some of it is somewhat out of date, indeed some of it was obtained when I was under 18.

    Unfortunately you did an extremely effective job of severely compromising my safety a few weeks ago, though obviously it’s best to err on the side of caution when beating up hundreds of non-violent protestors to get a road cleared for bankers to drive down an hour or two earlier than they otherwise may have.

    Many thanks indeed,
    Duck.

  2. […] in police matters. In April, an editor apparently working for the Met demanded that wikipedia remove a (freely avaialble) chart showing the structure of the force’s Territorial Support Group […]


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