similar letters are going to HMRC (responsible for export licences) and the National Crime Agency.
Mr Bernard Hogan-Howe
New Scotland Yard
Dear Mr Hogan-Howe,
As I am sure you are aware, eight of us were tried for obstructing the highway outside the Excel Centre during the set-up of the Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition last year, and that we were acquitted on the grounds that we were attempting to prevent crime. In particular, the judge said:
“the court has been presented with clear, credible and largely unchallenged evidence from three experts that criminal wrongdoing had occurred at past DSEI exhibitions involving the sale of arms to countries which then used those arms against civilian populations and the sale of items that were inherently unlawful such as cluster munitions and items designed for torture and inappropriate restraint. There was, as a result, a compelling inference that such activities would also take place at the 2015 DSEI exhibition.
“The court was also presented with clear, credible and largely unchallenged evidence that such criminal activities are not being properly investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.”
In the past extremely serious crimes have been found to be being committed at the exhibition including the sale of torture equipment, cluster bombs and land mines as well as the facilitation of the sale of weapons that are overwhelmingly likely to be used to commit human rights abuse. Yet none of these crimes have been discovered by your officers, and when crimes have been discovered and reported no action has been taken. This strongly suggests that you are more concerned with obstruction of the highway than with war crimes or torture.
To set my mind at rest I would be grateful if you could tell me what actions your officers have taken in the past to discover these crimes. Have you inspected exhibitors prior to the fair? Do you have police in the fair briefed to look for illegal activity? Are you vetting exhibitors and buyers to ensure that no human rights abusers are present? What level of resource are you devoting to the prevention and detection of crime at DSEI?
NB. If it would help this can be considered a freedom of information access request.
Please note that I am asking about the efforts that you have made I am also writing to the Clarion events, HMRC and the National Crime Agency.
I look forward to hearing from you.