back to article The Quick - and the Dead in the Water

Quick by name, and for once, quick by nature. The speedy resignation of assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, following his inadvertent public exposure of secret documents detailing a highly sensitive counter-terror operation, has probably saved the Police and Home Office an Easter of recriminations and back-biting. As a result of …


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  1. Martin Lyne


    Major problems with the government? Sleaze, expense corruption, police killing protesters in the capital?

    Scapegoat an assistant with a security breach and get them to resign for something Terrorism related, guaranteed front pages. Get to arrest some more people too.

    Or maybe it really was a terrorist mastermind at work, it's hard to cut through the waves of my own cynicsm these days..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Dons tinfoil hat

    This was obviously planned. Photographers are aiding terrorists, ban all picture taking in the UK.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    is it me..

    but does anyone find it suddenly funny that wacky Jacqui is always seen now on TV leaving her 'sisters' home, were as before she was never seen there?

    as for quick, a security offer is stupid to walk around with confidential /secret info in the open and not locked in a case or something, he deserves to be sacked on the spot. But I suspect his 'resign' really means, early retirement and pension.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. General A. Annoying

    Yet another 'fuck-up merchant'...

    gets to *resign*, no doubt with his lardy assed pension still totally intact.

    Which is more than could be said for the rest of us if we cocked up for our employer so publicly.

    Gits, the lot of em.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    @Martin Lyne

    "police killing protesters"? but I though the bloke that died at the G20 protests was just an "innocent passerby"? From what I saw of the video evidence, maybe if he was passing by a bit quicker he might not have attracted the attention of the police in the first place. Could he perhaps have been deliberately dawdling along with his hands in his pockets while the police were trying to clear the area in order to obstruct & wind them up? Surely not...

  7. Carl
    Thumb Down


    Ok, so it was pretty stupid to get caught out in this way - common sense dictates that you don't leave things like that on show.

    However, I think that we seriously need to move towards some sort of accountability for the stupidity of the media agencies in cases like this. I have a feeling that my dog, not the most intelligent one it has to be said, would probably have realised the consequencies for national/international security in posting an image such as this on a website.

    I am well aware - as most of us are - that there is generally a gaping hole in the location where Getty's morals should be located, but I really do think that their motives for doing something as potentially damaging as this should be questioned.

    Maybe we can brand the whole outfit as a terrorist organisation and cart them all away for some Guantanamo loving - I for one would be very happy to bag them up and kick seven shades out of them...

  8. Frank

    Cover Up

    "It is believed - and police sources confirm - that this technology is available within the Met and to other government departments"

    But do they have adequate awareness and training in how to use the technology? Obviously not.

  9. twelvebore

    Public imaging

    Well you see if the police were allowed to go about their normal business and harass these photographers, demanding that they move along and/or confiscating their memory cards then these sorts of security breaches wouldn't happen.

    Likewise the sort of irresponsible behaviour we've seen surrounding the case of Ian Tomlinson - I mean what the hell was that guy doing *filming* a policeman going about his duty, shoving an innocent by-stander to the ground? It's this sort of wreckless recording of routine police procedures that could easily be misinterpreted and undermine public confidence in the police force. It should be stopped now, cameras should be banned from the streets, and mobile phones too.

    I *demand* that Whacky Jacqui act *now* to come up with some knee-jerk initiative to save the country from these crazed snappers.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    "Common sense"

    Look, this is the bloke who didn't realise that running an executive car hire business from his home address, and publishing the home address, might perhaps be a problem. (currently unresponsive, for some reason)

    Nor did he seem to realise that a raid on an MPs office (Damian Green, remember) in the House of Commons might turn into a PR disaster.

    Draw your own conclusions about common sense, whatever his other skills may have been.

  11. Nick L

    Pesky photographers to blame again

    Bang the lot of them up, it's the only way to be sure.

  12. Cameron Colley
    Black Helicopters

    The government must be pissed off....

    ...that they couldn't let another couple of bombs go off and declare a state of emergency.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    On the One hand they are

    telling us of the terrorist risks, but on the other they are making such basic security mistakes. It really suggests they don't have a clue so how can we believe them.

    and perhaps the biggest security mistake is failing to keep the need to know principle - wtf does the PM's office need to know so much details while operation is under way? Perhaps it is Browns micromanagement kicking in again.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Security doesn't stop at the front door, presumably these numpties have folders full of secret docs left lying around on their desks for any non-cleared staff to peruse whenever they feel like it?

    Wonder how hard it is to get a job as a cleaner at the met.......

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It doesn't look like the person who produced that document knows how to protectively mark... (see for a closeup).

    Who classified it as Secret? Shurely it should have been TS? Since I can't quote JSP440 (for obvious reasons) see wikipedia (

    "Information marked as Top secret is that which whose release is liable to cause considerable loss of life, international diplomatic incidents, or severely impact ongoing intelligence operations"

    ... and I'd like to see the Protected Document Register please... was that "memo" checked out?

  16. Lottie


    I guess they're just getting too lazy to find a train to leave documents on these days.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be a bit cynical

    The timing of this (the terrorism arrests, not so much the fuck up) is a little, well, suspicious given all the money / expenses / thieving politician bastard things in the news at the moment.

    Pretty much everyone I have spoken to agrees that this looks far more like Whacquie Jacquie trying to divert attention from her [and her party's] own troubles by arresting a group of dusky skinned blokes, presumably all with beards, in order to keep the rest of us safe.

    However having armed police waving guns in crowded areas whilst trying to subdue extremely dangerous terrorist suspects* who one must assume have access to explosives (or they cannot be _that_ dangerous or terroristy) appears to be defeating the point of the whole "keeping the country safe" bit.

    *if they are not at least labelled as extremely dangerous terrorist suspects then there is no point in this level of fuss, even if it turns out they are not then the government will still keep telling us that they are. Still, the government and filth need to act as if they believe that these people are dangerous. There is also a chance that they are actually dangerous people in which case arresting them in crowded universities etc. appears a bit cavalier to say the least.

  18. chris

    How police accountability works

    Run an operation ending in the gangland-style execution of an innocent (but a bit brown-looking) man = promotion.

    Leave a piece of paper outside of a folder = position untenable.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At last someone does the honourable thing

    I can't fault Bob Quick for doing the honourable thing quickly, honestly and therefore with some semblance of honour. Messed up, accepted he messed up and then resigned. Simple, honest and well, quick. I have more respect for Mr Quick than many other "public servants".

    His is an example other public servants would do well to follow: You foul up, you resign. No hanging around, dragging things out. On your bike.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again, saved by our heroic press. Not

    No comment I see on the fact that Getty Press immediately published the photo on their website. Just whe3re do tghe limits for the press lie? How far do they - and we - think they should be alloqwed tgo to obtain and publish sensitive information? Do they get a kick nout of aiding terrorists and disrupting counter-terrorism operations?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Momentary lapse or......

    Of course the most likely explanation is that this was a simple 'senior moment' prior to what must have been for him a stressful meeting; but under good security practice he should have been immediately detained pending two security assessments: firstly had he deliberately leaked the information either because he had mixed loyalties, or was under some form of duress eg blackmail or a family member taken hostage? Secondly, were appropriate handling procedures in place at his office and were they demonstrably being followed or was his action symptomatic of a more widespread cavalier attitude to handling of secret documents? The fact that neither of these actions, especially the first, seem to have occurred to anybody says as much about the (lack of) professionalism in our security forces as the initial incident.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Could be avoided by .......

    Quote : "...avoided by the use of low-tech document storage and transportation solutions: in common parlance, a "briefcase". "

    I'm guessing that the transporting and passing of "information" in brown envelopes is therefore frowned upon in the current Government.

    Just claim it on expenses instead.

    Paris? She's never shown anything inappropriate in public. I don't think ;)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A title,

    Wonder whats wrong with 'lessons learned' and 'drawing a line under it'?

    unless he's got his eyes on doing a mandelson?

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Terrorists ?

    This morning on the Brown/Blair Broadcasting Corp. Wacqui Jacqui said " He's doing a good job and should not resign".

    At least one policeman has some integrity.

    Is this another reason Jacqui doesn't want anybody to photograph the police, as well as the current Rodney king style incident ?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, the irony....

    ...of Wacki Jacqui commenting that another person's position is "untenable". A pity she doesn't consider her own position "untenable" and quit as Second-Home Secretary.

    Mine's the one with the top-secret documents in the pocket.

  26. spam

    Convenient timing

    Police bring forward another high profile anti-terror operation just in time to divert media attention away from police thuggery at the G20 protests.... hmmm....

    Will it amount to anything or will they just let them go after 28 days which is enough time for the media and public to have forgotten about it.?

  27. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    A new problem

    To be fair - it's only in the last 5 years or so that professional digital SLRs have been high-enough res with sufficient sensitivity to catch 10pt Times New Roman from 15ft without a tripod ;-)

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Bob quick - his colleagues say he was 'named for irony'

    Good riddence. Jackboot's favourite copper. Glad he went - take 'hand shandy' timney's wife with you.

  29. Claire Rand


    lets see now, so in around 28 days there will be a minor notice, not given much air time as to how all the people arrested have been released without charge, or without any serious charge.

    this will be blamed, if anyone asks, on the 'irresponsible' media and no further comment will be made. no detailed evidence of what this plot is will be made public, and the vague statements made will quickly be shown to be rubbish.

    cynical? moi?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Silly me, for thinking that it was an offence under S1 of the 1989 official secrets act to let slip security information. Wonder why he hasn't been charged for it?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ Lottie..

    May I direct you to the recent Easter bank holiday engineering works announcement?

    It's not laziness, it's the fscking atrocious state of the public transport system that's to blame for this debacle.

    Beggars belief that this bunch of incompetents want all our personal info on huge databases (did anyone else read that local councils can access the email database or did I imagine that bit?) when they can't even be bothered keeping their own secret documents safe.

    Paris, (are you getting sick of her yet) she's made a career of not covering up properly.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Oh noes! Blunkett weighs in

    That wanker Blunkett is on Radio 4 right now (17:17 or so) and although his words are weaselly as hell, he's clearly intimating that the problem here was caused by photography, and maybe we need to "think again about .. whether [and] what ... " (quote paraphrased, it's on live and can't be rewound until it hits 'listen again' later today) is going to be allowed to be photographed in future.

    What a shit.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There really is a god

    My feeling is that the plod didn't bother putting it in his brief case because it wasn't an important operation, it was just another propaganda exercise. Therefore Mr Plod wasn't thinking OMG we're all going to die, this document is really important; it was a case of swanning round to Downing Street to work out how to capitalize on the trashing of some gobby muslim kids houses.

    Photographers aren't going to be flavour of the month though, anywhere..

    BTW, anyone noticed that that sections of the court of public opinion (eg AC 11:40 GMT, there are others about the tubes as well) seem to have come up with a new offence of 'walking down the road with your hands in your pockets'? Are we supposed to throw our cameras to the ground, stick our hands up above our heads and retreat from their plodships presence by walking backwards and making obeisance? FFS the guy was compliant, he was walking away.

    Good news for once.

  34. Apocalypse Later


    "following his inadvertent public exposure of secret documents"

    The word you were searching for was "negligent".

  35. Steven Jones

    Resign or retire...

    Judging by the Bob Quick's biography he is already well past the standard plod's retirement age, so I rather expect that he's going to be collecting his pension. He's also probably worked out that he isn't exactly going to be in favour with what's likely to be the next government.

  36. P. Lee
    Black Helicopters

    Leaking important documents on a terrorist threat?

    Methinks the government assessment of the state of the world is given far too much credence!

  37. Martin Usher
    IT Angle

    The Quick Was Already Dead....

    Just my guess. Quick was the man behind the arrest of that MP and the searching of his Commons could almost hear his personal Doomsday clock wrong word, one finger out of place and its the dole queue. (OK not the dole queue but a lucrative 'consultant' post with some City company or another....)

  38. Wayland Sothcott

    inadvertent ?

    It looks more like he is holding it so it can be seen.

    Would he carry a copy of Penthouse in the same way?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ A new problem

    It's been around for more than five years. It's well known that the US military can read car reg numbers from space and even swivel around to look into windows, record conversations and take fingerprints. Imagine what THEY can do from 15 feet!

  40. chris

    @Wayne Tavet

    Yep, and there's not even as much variation in wording as you get from viagra sellers. Those cops that complain about "too much paperwork" should be grateful that it's taught them how to use copy-paste.

  41. Frank

    @Hayden Clark re. A New Problem

    "...To be fair - it's only in the last 5 years or so that ..."

    Try watching 'Blow Up' (or 'Blowup')

  42. SteveMD

    Bad mistake, but...

    This was a dumb gaffe, watching the footage though, you can see he walked from his car to the door of number 10 and on the way covered up the papers. All in all they were visible for about five seconds. Plenty of time for a camera to take several high quality images and he should have known that, but it should be pointed out that he is not the only guilty party here. There would be much less danger from this, and similar incidents, if the press could be trusted. Let's not forget that this was on Downing street, the only people taking photos were the press who had press passes for that area. This would be embarrassing certainly, but not "dangerous", if the press could be trusted not to publish or even to blur-out the offending detail.

  43. John

    risk to public

    I'm not one to advocate putting the public at risk when making arrests, but at least people have a better chance to see how the police works. Not everything the police does should be public knowledge, at least immediately, but night-time operations and too much secrecy in the police should be avoided.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I agree with the conspiratorially-minded, the timing of these raids is suspicious and serve as a distraction from things like Ian Tomlinson's death. Bob Quick was probably for the chop anyway due to his previous errors, so either his timing was good or the 'gaffe' was deliberate. I personally think these 'terrorists' will be released without charge or charged with lesser offences. I don't think any explosives will be found either. If terrorists were going to attack why not coincide with the G20?

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