Friday, 28 August 2009

Remembering Michael McLean

Two years ago today a local cyclist on his way to work was run down and killed by a hit and run driver. The Metropolitan Police have failed to find his killer, which is not a surprise since London’s spectacular record of unsolved hit and runs is surely related to the Met’s contempt for road traffic policing and the fact that it puts far less resources into road fatalities than it does to murders.

At the time the local paper carried a story suggesting that the killer driver quickly turned into a side street, parked their damaged car, and did a runner, only returning later in the day to collect the vehicle. The implication seemed to be that the Met does not bother to search nearby streets in the aftermath of a hit and run. If that is true, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

I blogged about the fatality here.

I can’t help noticing the difference between the killing of Michael McLean, which provoked no comment at all from Commander Mark Benbow or council leader Clyde Loakes, even though they both bore a direct responsibility for the reckless and lawless speeding on Forest Road E17, which continues to this day, and the knife death of C J Hendricks, where both Benbow and Loakes rushed to issue statements of sympathy and condemnation.

In the words of Walthamstow blogger Archipelago of Truth:

Today, an anonymous young man accused of Mr Hendricks' murder has been acquitted of the charges. He had successfully put forward a defence that CJ Hendricks had himself been an aggressor with the knife that killed him, in a far more complicated scenario than makes for easy headlines. I wonder how this young man had felt as the jury deliberated, or indeed throughout this whole episode, knowing that he was accused of the dreadful slaying of an apparently popular young man, a man portrayed as an innocent victim in all this.

A ghost bike at the spot where Michael McLean was run down and killed would make a big impact on a road which is one of the main routes into London, and I am disappointed that there isn't one.