With 800 Met Police officers being investigated, facing sexual and domestic abuse claims and other accusations of potential Met Police misconduct, the question many are asking is what next for the Metropolitan Police?
The announcement of the arrest of PC David Carrick who subsequently pleaded guilty to 49 offences including dozens of rapes, has forced an escalation in the investigation into allegedly widespread Met Police misconduct. This now involves 45,000 Met officers and staff and a staggering 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offences or domestic violence involving 1,071 officers and other staff over the last ten years alone.
The investigation has also uncovered an underlying “culture of sexual and domestic abuse corruption, racism, and misogyny”.
David Carrick’s case is particularly embarrassing for the Met as, despite having five public complaints to his name, he passed internal checks to become a firearms officer having successfully transferred to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in 2009. He had also passed a regular follow up vetting in 2017. This has brought the efficacy of the Met’s internal checks into question.
However, PC Carrick’s litany of abuse is only the latest in the Met Police’s shameful recent history.
In March 2021 Sarah Everard was murdered by serving police officer, Wayne Couzens.
Four Metropolitan Police officers are being investigated for gross misconduct after stopping and strip-searching a 15-year-old black schoolgirl, Child Q, who they wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis.
Two Met officers were jailed for taking and sharing photos of murdered sisters.
Another serving officer was also convicted of being a member of a neo-Nazi group.
Currently over 150 of the Met’s officers are being prevented from holding “public-facing roles” because they are under investigation because of allegations of sexual misconduct or racism. A further 118 were recorded as being on restricted duties at the end of November because they are suspected of sexual misconduct. A further 43 officers face allegations of racism (a small percentage of the 556 officers who had received complaints of racism).
Most worrying, Scotland Yard has recently released figures stating the force is waiting for the outcome of current investigations into more than 230 officers defending allegations of sexual assault.
This has shattered the London public’s faith in their police force according to one of the Prime Minister’s spokespeople.
What next for the Met?
Hot on the heels of the release of these figures the Mayor of London has proposed a new £14 million investment to accelerate cultural reform of the Met Police.
Sadiq Khan’s plan is to provide £14.2million to “raise standards, improve performance and rebuild the trust and confidence of all of London’s communities in the Met Police service.” The funding will be used to support the Met’s ‘Turnaround Plan’. This plan sets out how the force will achieve its mission to rebuild trust, reduce crime and improve standards over the next two years.
The majority – £12million – would be used to support the Commissioner’s drive for higher standards in the Met.
This will include the creation of a new Met Leadership Academy that will provide enhanced training for Met leaders and line managers so they can ensure the high standards expected by policing and the public are achieved and create a strong leadership structure for every policing department within the region.
The initiative will also empower these leaders. They will have greater authority to identify any officers whose performance or conduct does not meet the required standards so reparative steps can be taken and training can be provided. More crucially they will be able to take immediate action against officers with repeated or patterns of unacceptable behaviour in line with the recommendations made in Baroness Casey’s interim review.
A further £2.5million will be invested in improving the training and resilience of the Met’s Command and Control Centre (MetCC). The centre handles more than six million emergency calls and online queries from the public each year but the findings of the HMICFRS PEEL inspection claim the Met urgently need to improve how it responds to calls from the public.
The mayor’s funding is part of a package his office has designed specially to support the Met as it strives to exit the Special Measures it is currently under as quickly as possible.
It is also being offered to accelerate the systemic change needed to tackle the Met’s performance and culture so it can start to repair the damage the enormous volume of allegations of sexual and domestic abuse, corruption, racism and misogyny have caused.
The Police Law specialists in our Civil Law team have worked with Sussex, Surrey, Suffolk, the Met and several other prosecuting authorities. If you would like to discuss a case involving improprieties concerning a police force or police officer, please contact us.