PC HARWOOD – His Anger was a Tragedy for Ian Tomlinson

Simon Harwood ‘s history is an example of uncontained and unrestrained anger. This could have been spotted many years ago. In policing much more even than in sport containment and self-management is essential to the job. In sport the consequence is relatively minor – losing a game, a match and we move on. For a policeman/woman the challenge is much greater, anger and stress can regularly lead to tangible physical danger. This was a terrible and avoidable tragedy.

The sign of anger as a “problem” is when the behaviour is out of proportion to the event. The first signs for Simon Harwood appear to be the road rage incident in 2000. There have been many alleged incidents since.

I believe that if early on the Metropolitan Police had referred Harwood to an Anger specialist then many of these incidents could have been avoided. He could have had help both with his own anger and in dealing with stressful situations.

There is little information about Harwood’s past but I suspect that somewhere we would find the key to his behaviour. Extreme angry behaviour of this kind is generally  an indicator of something not “feeling right” at a deep level inside an individual.

Professional intervention could have saved Tomlinson and could still help Harwood. We carry our unresolved historic anger with us and when it is emerges the brunt is usually born by others.

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