I’m sure we all know to take YouTube comments with as big a pinch of salt as we would IMDb discussion board posts, but this is quite interesting. It was posted to the video on YouTube of the brutal clearing by police of the peaceful G20 Climate Camp on Bishopsgate (11,846 122,495 views and counting – and that’s just this copy), by oimelnikov:
Most of the attackers are from 5TSG and 4TSG (the call signs on their helmets are U5 and U4), based in Clapham (Larkhall Road) and Catford (Aitken Road) respectively.
Well, this intrigued me. To start with, I had a look to see if I could find possible sites for Territorial Support Group (TSG) bases at the locations mentioned. Each TSG (there are five in total) comprises five operational serials, plus support staff. Each serial splits across three vans, with nine per van. That means we’re looking for locations for TSG 4 and TSG 5 that each can garage at least 15 vans and more than a hundred coppers.
Now, there doesn’t appear to be a Larkhall Road in Clapham, though there is a Larkhall Lane and a Larkhall Rise. However, Clapham police station is on the corner of Union Grove and Smedley Street – which then leads on to Larkhall Lane and is also close to Larkhall park:
Judging by the pictures, the police station compound does seem to occupy a large footprint, with the building at the back looking like it could be vehicle workshops or some such similar.
[ETA: Please disregard the above – TSG 5 is in fact based just down the road at 157 Larkhall Lane SW4 6RE, in a large compound bounded by Smedley Road and Union Road, where the main entrance is. Please see the later post on the ‘G20 death cop’ going on the sick for details.]
Down in Catford, at the end of Aitken Road, is a large gated compound which operates as the SE garage of the Traffic Operational Command Unit, though other Metropolitan Police units also seem to be based there, in the main building and in adjacent offices:
So, looking at all this, oimelnikov’s comment seems to have some merit.
Channel 4 News is now claiming that Officer ‘A’ – the one who assaulted Ian Tomlinson shortly before he died – was wearing a helmet marked ‘U41’, indicating a TSG officer from serial 1 (commanded by Inspector Dyer) of TSG4, based at Aitken Road, Catford.
[Edited to add update, Thursday 23/4/9]