Talk:Territorial Support Group

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The comment about TSG being referred to by other officers as the Thick and Stupid Group, or The Spice Girls. Surely this needs a citation? Do all officers refer to TSG as such, or was is this comment used by a small minority and not relevant to this page?

I suspect with a bit of research the Thick and Stupid Group reference could be cited. I used to work as a Police Officer in central London and it is very commmonly used. Whether it is relevant to the article is another matter and I don't think it is the most major change this article needs - the whole thing reads like a recruiting advert for the TSG with comments like "drawn from the elite". Whilst I'm sure it is a popular unit with competition for places it is far from everybody's idea of fun and has clearly been written by a TSG officer or ex-officer just plugging his/her job. Large swathes of the article are clearly opinion and unsuitable for Wiki - if there is significant competition for places it should be stated factually, e.g "Officers wishing to join the TSG face stiff competition with X applicatants for every Y posts (reference here)"


I think this has been vandalised. It seems to claim that the SPG/TSG assault suspects "whether guilty or not". Someone check it out. (talk) 20:32, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Thick and Stupid Group[edit]

It's a perfectly well referenced opinion, and a published one too, and deserves inclusion. The article at the moment contains no criticism at all. We can't leave out information we think 'is silly', because that in it's self is NPOV ;) ninety:one 22:56, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Hello SmallJim

I noticed you reverted an IPs contributions of:

The TSG has been referred to as the "Thick and Stupid Group" by other Metropolitan Police officers due to the percerption that the group attracts physically stronger, but intellectually weaker, officers.

I reverted this passage too, thinking what enyclopedic value does this have? Although it has been referenced in a "ship - Shoddy" fashion, it is still referenced, but it is also still silly. Do you think it should be taken off? Police,Mad,Jack (talk · contribs) 10:47, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm looking into this - will get back to you.  —SMALLJIM  10:52, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Much appreciated. Police,Mad,Jack (talk · contribs) 10:53, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Well the book exists, according to and Google Books searches. I've added the ISBN and changed to a proper citation template in the article. The issues that remain are: (1) is the claimed content actually in the book? And (2) is the book a reliable source? I can't comment on (1) because I haven't seen the book, though we must assume good faith on the part of the editor(s) who added it. As for (2), well, the customer reviews on Amazon suggest that it is at least written in a sensationalist style - I'll probably edit the article further to specifically attribute the statement.  —SMALLJIM  11:18, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Have done so, and also copied this thread from my talk page to here, where further discussion should take place.  —SMALLJIM  11:37, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Met-police-logo.svg[edit]

The image Image:Met-police-logo.svg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --05:37, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Dispute over claimed British police use of "machine guns"[edit]

I'm having a bit of a dispute over at Talk:Death of Ian Tomlinson over the inclusion of an erroneous press report that the TSG has access to "submachine guns" as opposed to the actual semi-automatic MP5 carbines used by Authorised Firearms Officers in the unit (which does not have any Specialist Firearms Officers attached to it). Other editors may wish to offer their opinion on the matter. Nick Cooper (talk) 09:52, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Heckler_&_Koch_MP5 describes it as a submachine gun - you may wish to correct this. (talk) 00:51, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
That article is correct, but also mentions the SF variants used by the Met, "MP5SFA2 (SF - single-fire) is the same as the MP5A2 but is fitted with an ambidextrous semi-automatic only trigger group" -- Wnjr (talk) 11:25, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
In that case, I would suggest changing the text of that article to submachine gun or semi-automatic MP5 carbines, otherwise people get confused!Mein Kopf (talk) 00:49, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
As I said, the MP5 article correctly refers to the standard MP5 as a submachine-gun, and describes the variant the Met police use, I don't see how the article could be changed to avoid confusion.
Wnjr (talk) 11:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

serious, gratuitous and prolonged" attack[edit]

I would add some material from this article, but it has been locked. Could someone with privileges please do so. A judge said last month that six TSG officers had carried out a "serious, gratuitous and prolonged" attack on a terrorism suspect, Babar Ahmed, six years ago. The team of six officers involved in the attack on Ahmed, who was arrested at his home by the TSG unit, had already been at the centre of as many as 60 complaints about unwarranted assaults on black or Asian men, the Guardian has revealed. Kopf (talk) 01:30, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Having looked into it further, I find that the victim was awarded £60,000 damages. In addition, it emerged that the Met had lost "a number of large mail sacks" containing details of other similar allegations against the officers who assaulted him. This should surely be added to the article. Kopf (talk) 06:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Definitely. Thanks for pointing those out. I've added them to the article and put the G20 into the same section called Criticism. Smartse (talk) 22:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I put in a line about the nature of their work being a reason for complaints being made against the TSG as I though it added balance and maintained a NPOV. This has been removed by an IP user [1] as "propaganda". Can someone take a look and revert if necessary. Thanks Smartse (talk) 09:16, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Organisational Chart[edit]

Hello, this is a message from the Metropolitan Police Service. We respect your right to postings, but on this occassion may we please respectfully request that you kindly remove the organisational chart from this page.

We have received a request from TSG CO20 for it to be removed as it is somewhat out of date, and contains officers names which could compromise their safety.

If you would to talk to a member of the Metropolitan Police Service Territorial Support Group to confirm this request, we would be happy to contact you, directly.

Many thanks indeed. (talk) 08:52, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Why not replace it with a new one? As public servants officers should be open to scrutiny, their names should not be kept secret.
Wnjr (talk) 09:30, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Hello, thank you for your reply. I have asked the MPS Territorial Support Group to write a note to you, and/or to provide an updated chart without names. It is best to err on the side of caution when anybody's safety could be compromised, and hope you would sympathise. Names and charts etc are fully open to freedom of information requests etc, but posting them globally onto web pages is of course your choice, but cause for some concern amongst the TSG. Many thanks for your kind consideration. (talk) 08:52, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
In what sense is the open display of the names of police officers in any way likely to compromise their safety? Police officers' names are routinely displayed, published, broadcast or in other ways communicated in newspapers, on television, radio, in court documents and in other ways, often in concert with photographs and/or shoulder numbers. This document, on the other hand, simply displays the surname and rank of a relatively small number of officers bearing differing levels of command responsibility. That no TSG officer appears to have come forward on his or her own behalf also suggests that this is not that important to them.
I cannot see a reason why, in the absence of any specific factual inaccuracies being identified, this chart should not remain, certainly until an equally informative but updated chart offering an at least equal amount of information can be provided. Bristle-krs (talk) 11:28, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Bristle-krs, why should police officers be granted total anonymity when they so often begrudge the rest of us the same? Also, do we even have any evidence that this poster has any connection to the Met (the pomposity and efforts at censorship are purely circumstantial, after all)? Madashell (talk) 13:17, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, according to the User talk: it's a Met Police IP address. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:55, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
He says "names and charts etc are fully open to freedom of information requests etc, but posting them globally onto web pages is of course your choice". I therefore see no reason to remove this chart, and suggest that someone make a freedom of information request for an up to date chart.Mein Kopf (talk) 15:37, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Remember, Wikipedia is not censored. If the material in question is covered by some legal restriction, feel free to contact the Wikimedia Foundation. If not, then there is no reason for this material to go unused. If you wish this chart to be removed because it is ourdated, please publish a new version within your publication scheme. ninety:one 19:44, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

This was deleted - I'm not sure why - when I last saw the deletion discussion the consensus definitely seemed to be to keep. Anybody see it more recently or know why it was deleted? Smartse (talk) 13:50, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Ah the discussion is here. Although the image was decided not to be free can anyone suggest why someone couldn't make a new version themselves with the information and add it? Smartse (talk) 14:11, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Is there any reason not to add this link to the article.= (talk) 21:39, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd imagine it's a copyvio, so yes. ninety:one 21:56, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Surely this would easily qualify as fair use? It's borderline that it actually counts as copyrightable at all, since it's just a chart displaying information - see Feist v. Rural. I guess there's a bare minimum of creativity, but we're talking about things like the choice and colour of font, and the arrangement of the boxes, etc. Stuff that would easily be trumped by fair use - the image is being used to display information relevant to the article, and in no way does it limit the copyright holder. (Plus the discussion doesn't show any kind of consensus - there were two Delete/Unfree votes, and two Keep votes.)

Having said that, I guess now there's the problem that the data would be even more out of date anyway. But if someone were to upload a version, I don't see any problem with copyright (and as Smartse says, there's clearly no problem with making a new image with that information on). Mdwh (talk) 01:03, 29 April 2011 (UTC)


I'm aware the criticism section is perhaps portraying only one side of the story. Any positive stories about the TSG would be most welcome. Smartse (talk) 21:19, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

hmm, more research = more stories [2] [3] Smartse (talk) 23:25, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
[4] and another. Smartse (talk) 11:58, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

More sources[edit]

Police pay £30,000 for poll tax riot `assault' PC injured in hammer attack Black officer cleared of cue attack First the murderers walk free. Now the Lawrence police escape justice Sex assault Pc jailed for five years Riot force may sue club Protecting Bush. A member of the TSG, Nina McKay was killed in 1997: [5]. I guess it should be included and the criticism section could be converted to "incidents" or "notable events" or something. Talking about the problems they've faced should make the article more neutral IMO. Smartse (talk) 14:04, 8 November 2009 (UTC)


The police are not required to wear epaulettes by anyone - they may be supposed to but they don't have to. See Chapter 6 of this report out yesterday. Smartse (talk) 15:56, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Tony Jefferson[edit]

I've removed the Tony Jefferson link as its link ( refers to an American football player, who, by the way, was born 2 year after the study referenced in this article was published(!)

So please, do not revise this change until an article on the correct Tony Jefferson has been created. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mojowiha (talkcontribs) 09:21, 9 February 2011 (UTC)