And that’s why we need FOI
A minister apologised to parliament yesterday for telling MPs that 70 police officers were hurt during a climate change
protest, after the Guardian revealed that most of the injuries were
inflicted by insects or the heat. Vernon Coaker, the Home Office
minister, told MPs at Commons question time yesterday: "I was informed
that 70 police officers were hurt and naturally assumed that they had
been hurt in direct contact as a result of the protest. That clearly
wasn't the case and I apologise if that caused anybody to be misled."
apology followed a freedom of information request from the Liberal
Democrats, which showed that no officers in the £5.9m police operation
at Kingsnorth power station in Kent during August had been injured by protesters.
police records showed that their medical unit had dealt mostly with
toothache, diarrhoea, cut fingers and "possible bee stings".