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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 13:06 GMT
Met chief quizzed on bomb policy
Sir Ian Blair
Sir Ian is set to say the procedures have been updated since 7 July
The Metropolitan Police commissioner is to be questioned about his force's tactics for stopping suicide bombers.

Sir Ian Blair is to tell the Metropolitan Police Authority that procedures have been overhauled since the 7 July attacks.

The system, called Operation Kratos, came under intense scrutiny after the shooting of innocent Tube passenger Jean Charles de Menezes on 22 July.

The inquest into his death briefly re-opened for an investigation update.

It heard on Thursday from the Independent Police Complaints Commission which is examining the circumstances of the shooting.

No system is perfect, but I think the public can rest assured that the Met are addressing areas that require a greater level of clarity...
Cindy Butts,
Metropolitan Police Authority

Operation Kratos deals with the threat from suicide bombers and details how armed response teams should react.

Deputy chairwoman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, Cindy Butts, said Operation Kratos was "here to stay".

"No system is perfect, but I think the public can rest assured that the Met are addressing areas that require a greater level of clarity and that they are looking to improve constantly how the policy works."

She said the Met was at the forefront of national and international debate about ways the policy could be improved.

The number of calls it has dealt with has fallen from 292 in August to just 19 in January, a report prepared by the Metropolitan Police said.

Kratos calls

In the two weeks after the attempted bomb attacks on 21 July, there were 763 calls to Scotland Yard about suspected suicide bombers in the capital.

During that two-week period, armed response officers were sent out six times and the Kratos operations team alerted 11 times, but all incidents were resolved safely.

The report found that in August the number of calls fell to 292. The number of calls continued to fall, with 56 in September, 47 in October and 32 in November.

There were 18 calls in December and 19 in January, with 14 calls up to 15 February.

Rush hour

After August, none of the incidents required the attendance of armed officers.

The report said there were currently between none and two calls every 24 hours.

Calls were most likely to come at midday, with reported incidents low overnight but rising during the morning rush hour, it added.

After an afternoon dip, there was a slight peak in the evening rush hour, the report said.

Mr Menezes, a 27-year-old electrician, was killed by anti-terror officers after being mistaken for a suicide bomber the day after the alleged attempted bombings in London on 21 July.

As the Crown Prosecution Service is still considering whether to bring any criminal charges against the officers involved, a full inquest hearing cannot be held.

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