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Top cop's honour slated for being "insensitive"

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, Jun 17 (Reuters) A senior London policeman who had to apologise for an anti-terror raid in which a man was shot, has been honoured by Queen Elizabeth, prompting a swathe of criticism today.

Assistant Metropolitan Commissioner Andy Hayman received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the monarch's birthday honours list for services to policing.

Critics said the award was ill-judged since Hayman was the officer in charge of a June 2 dawn raid on a house in London's Forest Gate, in which Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, was shot.

''I think like many people in east London we would probably have queried the timing of this award. I do think it may be slightly insensitive,'' said Asad Rehman, from the civil liberties group, The Newham Monitoring Project.

The raid, which did not lead to any charges, has caused disquiet in many London areas with a high Muslim population amid fears they could be unfairly targeted by the police.

The Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said the timing of the award had been ill-judged.

''I think given the exceptional circumstances in the wake of the Forest Gate operation and the enormous anger and anxiety in the community affected, I think there is a strong case to think about the timing of this honour,'' he said.

REUTERS SHB HT1435

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