Former police chief defends Green probe

By Sasjkia Otto

The former police chief who arrested Tory MP Damian Green has defended his actions.

Bob Quick a fomer Met anti terror commander said he was obliged to investigate, saying documents were stolen from then home secretary Jacqui Smith’s safe.

Mr Quick was unwilling to apologise for arresting Conservative immigration spokesman Damian Green after it was established confidential parliamentary documents were being leaked.

He said he was acting on evidence presented to him suggesting misconduct in parliament.

“Documents were stolen from a safe in the home secretary’s office where sensitive material is kept so, for these reasons, we saw it as pretty serious,” he said in a BBC interview last night.

“We didn’t ask to investigate this, it was brought to our attention,” he said. “There was clearly a risk, if someone was prepared to steal from this safe, that more sensitive material had been taken and our job must be surely to find out whether it was.

“Someone or maybe more than one person was prepared to steal documents from the home secretary’s private office safe and intercept her letters to the prime minister.”

Mr Quick’s career ended in April 2009 when a document he was carrying containing details of an anti-terrorist operation was photographed as he arrived for a meeting in Downing Street.

Mr Quick offered his resignation to the mayor of London, Boris Johnson. He believed he could have survived the blunder if it wasn’t for the leaks investigation.

“I probably hadn’t made myself as popular as I might have done in relation to events that had happened earlier,” he said.

Mr Quick was criticised for his actions in the investigation last year. The Inspectorate of Constabulary said the use of police resources was “debatable” and an internal police review said Mr Green’s arrest was “not proportionate”.