BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Graeme McLagan
"Scotland Yard says it has learned lessons"
 real 28k

Angela Mason, Stonewall
"There should be hate crime laws"
 real 28k

Gerry Gable of Searchlight
"No one took his name, he was not on any computer"
 real 28k

Saturday, 1 July, 2000, 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK
Nailbomber sparks far-right checks
The Soho bomb
Soho bomb: Police want to crackdown on right-wing terrorism
Scotland Yard has promised new measures to monitor extreme right-wing activists as nailbomber David Copeland begins his life behind bars at Broadmoor.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said anti-fascist magazine Searchlight had agreed to work with detectives to help formulate a better way of monitoring far-right extremism.

David Copeland
Copeland wanted a race war
Copeland, 24, was given six life terms on Friday after murdering three people in one of three nailbomb terror attacks in London designed to start a race war in Britain.

The Home Office agreed he should start his sentence in Broadmoor top security hospital, where his room is decorated with a Nazi flag, to receive treatment for a personality disorder.

Scotland Yard's pledge to improve monitoring of far-right groups follows accusations that detectives failed to act swiftly enough after being given the name of Soho bomber David Copeland on the day of the fatal attack.

Neither MI5 or police Special Branch - who are supposed to monitor extreme groups - are said to have heard of Copeland before he was arrested and charged with bombing Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho - killing three and injuring 129.

BNP rally

Gerry Gable from Searchlight believes the police should have known about Copeland.

He also believes that until the bombings, the police and intelligence services had underestimated the threat posed by the extreme right.

Copeland and John Tyndall, (BBC copyright)
Copeland with ex-BNP party leader John Tyndall
He said: "Today it is very well understood, but I don't think it was understood in the two weeks of the [bombing] campaign."

Anti-Nazi activists pictured Copeland alongside ex-BNP leader John Tyndall three years ago at a BNP rally.

Following the violence in the East End police actually talked to Copeland, said Mr Gable.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the new partnership with Searchlight should greatly help detectives monitor fascist activities in the future.

He said: "Searchlight has agreed to work with senior officers from the Yard's specialist units concerning the best way forward to monitor far-right extremism and to handle information being passed to the Metropolitan Police from non-state security organisations."

Father to visit

Copeland had boasted of fooling doctors into thinking he was severely mentally ill but the jury of eight men and four women rejected his defence of diminished responsibility through schizophrenia.

He was found guilty of murdering Andrea Dykes, 27, who was pregnant, and friends John Light, 32 and Nik Moore, 31, from Essex.

Tommy Douglas
Tommy Douglas: Copeland 'was bad not mad'
He could spend at least a decade at Broadmoor before doctors consider he is safe enough to go into the prison system, where the time he serves will be decided by the home secretary on the recommendation of the judge.

Copeland's father Stephen, 51, is expected to be his son's first visitor.

He has said he still loves his son, who he believes is mentally ill.

But Tommy Douglas, 43, who lost both his legs in the Soho blast said of Copeland after he was sentenced: "He is not mad, he is just bad to the core."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

30 Jun 00 | UK
Nailbomb killer gets life
30 Jun 00 | UK
Relief at bomber verdict
30 Jun 00 | UK
'My son was mentally ill'
30 Jun 00 | UK
'Justice has been done'
30 Jun 00 | UK
CCTV helped trap killer
Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories