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28th February 2006 Lorna Shaddick

Sir Ian Blair at Exeter

Exonians packed the Saskatchewan Lecture Room on Sunday afternoon (26th February) to hear Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and Oxford alumnus, speak on the changing mission of the police force.

Sir Ian highlighted the challenges now faced by London’s police as they adapt to new counter-terrorism needs and attempt to balance these with a greater focus on community based policing. As well as acknowledging such difficulties, however, he also emphasised the many positive aspects of the Met’s work, in particular the increase in ethnic minority recruitment and the cohesion of British anti-terror networks relative to the U.S and Europe.

Much of the talk was given over to questions, whose topics ranged from ID cards and data retention to firearms and bobbies on the beat, and all of which Sir Ian answered with panache.

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