27 FEBRUARY 1886, Page 1


THE Home Office Report upon the riots of February 8th, signed by Mr. Childers, Lord Wolseley, Lord Edward Cavendish, Sir H. T. Holland, and Mr. C. T. Ritchie, severely condemns the Staff management of the London Police. We have commented on the Report elsewhere, and need only state here that Sir Edmund Henderson, instead of staying in Scotland Yard to give orders, remained amid the crowd in Trafalgar Square till 5 p.m.; that Mr. Walker, his next in command, did the same thing; that no one had any instructions to deal with the crowd which streamed westward ; and that the officer left in charge at Scotland Yard never had any information at all. The ulti- mate check given in Oxford Street to the crowd was due to the uninspired action of an Inspector named Cuthbert, who tele- graphed information to Scotland Yard, and then, with only eighteen men, attacked the mob successfully. A body of one hundred police, ordered to protect Pall Mall, walked calmly down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, and Sir E. Henderson did not find out the mistake till afterwards. Headquarters' Staff was, in fact, imbecile; and though Lord Aberdare, who as Mr. Bruce had worked with Sir E. Henderson from 1869 to 1874, in a speech on Tuesday night warmly and ably defended his career, he acknowledged frankly that the scene of the 8th was indefensible. It is understood that besides the Commissioner, one or two of his subordinates will resign, and that the Staff will be completely reorganised under a new Commissioner, who may possibly be Mr. Jenkin son, head of the Irish Police. The responsible Minister must choose for himself, and we detest the pretension of journalists to weaken his responsibility ; but the work of the Irish Police and of the London Police is very different. The former move amid a hostile, the latter amid a friendly population.