The Metropolitan Police Crack Down on Corruption: Nearly 1,000 Officers Suspended or on Restricted Duties
The Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, is currently facing a significant challenge as it attempts to root out corruption within its ranks. With nearly 1,000 officers currently suspended or on restricted duties, the force is taking stringent measures to address this issue. Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy has revealed that about 60 officers could be sacked each month for the next two years, with half of them facing misconduct proceedings and another 30 facing gross incompetence hearings. These actions are part of an extensive effort by the Met to restore trust and integrity within the force.
One of the primary steps taken by the Metropolitan Police is conducting thorough reviews of its officers. This includes looking into previous allegations of domestic or sexual violence, as well as sweeping the police national computer and database for any concerning information. The objective is to identify and remove officers who have engaged in misconduct or incompetence, ensuring a clean and accountable police force.
The Met’s reputation has suffered as a result of various scandals involving its officers, such as the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens and the conviction of serial rapist David Carrick. These incidents have sparked renewed scrutiny and criticism of the force. In response, the Met acknowledges the need for a comprehensive and long-term effort to address these issues. Mr. Cundy states that it will take at least one, two, or more years to fully root out corruption and restore public confidence.
The magnitude of the issue becomes apparent when considering the number of officers currently suspended or on restricted duties. Out of the Met’s total workforce of approximately 34,000 officers, 201 are currently suspended, and around 860 are on restricted duties. When these figures are combined, it becomes evident that over 1,000 police officers, nearly the size of a small police force, are affected. This is an alarming and significant number, highlighting the extent of the problem within the Metropolitan Police.
Thorough Reviews and Ongoing Investigations
In the wake of David Carrick’s life sentence for multiple sexual offenses, the Metropolitan Police conducted a review of 1,600 cases where officers had previously faced allegations of domestic or sexual violence. Shockingly, no action was taken in these cases over the past 10 years. Currently, about 450 live investigations are ongoing for the cases that were reviewed. This speaks to the scale of the problem and the importance of addressing historical failures in dealing with misconduct within the force.
The Met has also been proactive in conducting extensive checks on its officers. They have scrutinized all officers against records on the police national computer, leading to the discovery of 11 cases that merit further assessment. Five of these cases are now under investigation for gross misconduct. Additionally, the details of all Metropolitan Police employees, both civilian staff and police officers, were checked against intelligence records on the Police National Database. This process has resulted in 14 employees being further investigated for potential gross misconduct, with more expected to follow.
It is worth noting that the ongoing reviews and investigations encompass a range of cases, including rape allegations. These measures are essential for identifying and addressing any wrongdoing by officers, ensuring accountability and justice for victims.
Increased Accountability and Reforms
The recent surge in misconduct findings and gross misconduct dismissals indicate a growing commitment to holding officers accountable within the Met. In the past year alone, 100 officers have been sacked for gross misconduct, representing a considerable 66% increase compared to the normal rate. This rise in dismissals demonstrates the Metropolitan Police’s determination to address corruption and incompetence within its ranks.
Recognizing the need for greater powers to deal with rogue officers, Home Secretary Suella Braverman recently announced plans to streamline the process of dismissing such individuals. These plans include implementing a presumption that officers found guilty of gross misconduct will be sacked, allowing for the dismissal of officers who fail vetting, and automatically treating certain offenses, including sexual crimes, as gross misconduct. Furthermore, responsibility for chairing misconduct hearings will be returned to chief officers rather than independent legally qualified chairmen. These reforms aim to strengthen the Met’s ability to hold officers accountable and rebuild public trust.
A Long Road Ahead
The Metropolitan Police’s efforts to root out corruption and restore integrity require a comprehensive and sustained approach. As Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy has emphasized, this process will likely take one, two, or more years to accomplish. It is crucial to address both the immediate issues within the force and the historical failures that have allowed misconduct to go unchecked for years.
By implementing thorough reviews, conducting ongoing investigations, and introducing reforms, the Met is taking significant steps towards creating a police force that operates with the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. It is essential for the Metropolitan Police to regain the trust and confidence of the public, ensuring that officers uphold their duty to protect and serve.
The Metropolitan Police’s commitment to addressing corruption within its ranks is a crucial step towards restoring public trust and creating a stronger, more accountable police force.