Met Police placed into 'special measures' after litany of failures

28 June 2022, 16:17 | Updated: 29 June 2022, 00:00

The Met has been placed into "special measures"
The Met has been placed into "special measures". Picture: Getty
Theo Usherwood

By Theo Usherwood

The Metropolitan Police has been placed into special measures following a litany of failures.

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In a letter to acting commissioner Stephen House today, the boss at HM Inspectorate of Constabulary [HMIC] Matt Parr said there were "several examples of high profile incidents" which raise concerns about the Met's performance and "are likely to have a chilling effect on public trust and confidence in the Met".

Cases cited by Mr Parr included the murder of Sarah Everard, the findings of the independent inquiry into the murder of Daniel Morgan, the stop and search of Bianca Williams and Child Q, who was stripped searched by officers at her school.

Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a serving police officer
Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a serving police officer. Picture: Alamy

The letter states the "cumulative effect" of all the Met's failures outweighs any successes it may have had.

As a result, the Met is to be placed into special measures, and will be subject to external monitoring and reviews by the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council.

It will be scrutinised more, required to report to inspectors more regularly and may need to hit certain crime-fighting targets.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: "A series of appalling scandals have not only exposed deep cultural problems but have damaged the confidence of Londoners in the capital’s police service.

"The decision by the HMIC to now move the Met into special measures has laid bare the substantial performance failings by the force.

"As I have been saying for some time, Londoners deserve better. That’s why we now need to see nothing less than a new contract forged between the police and the public in London.

"This means root and branch reforms and systemic change to the Met's performance and culture.

The family of killed private investigator Daniel Morgan are preparing to take legal action against the Metropolitan Police
The family of killed private investigator Daniel Morgan are preparing to take legal action against the Metropolitan Police. Picture: PA

"This will be a crucial first step for the next Commissioner to start rebuilding trust and credibility with our communities. I will work with HMIC and will hold the Met to account in delivering the police reforms and step change in policing performance and culture that all our communities deserve."

The force said: "We recognise the cumulative impact of events and problems that the Met is dealing with. We understand the impact this has had on communities and we share their disappointment.

"We are determined to be a police service Londoners can be proud of. We are talking to the Inspectorate about next steps."

The Met is currently down to the final stages of appointing a new commissioner after the untimely resignation of Cressida Dick earlier this year.

A source told LBC: "As the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for Metropolitan Police, the Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is letting Londoners down.

"Conservative leadership has provided record funding and we are well on our way to delivering 20,000 additional police officers nationally, with 2,600 of those already recruited in London.

"While other forces across our country have made real headway in making streets safer, the Labour Mayor of London has been asleep at the wheel and now finds himself as the police and crime commissioner in charge of the largest force in special measures."

The news follows a series of high profile failures that drew fierce criticism of the force.

This included the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, who was abducted from the street by Met officer Wayne Couzens. Whether the force missed "red flags" in his employment is being probed.

The force will be subjected to a so-called "engage phase" which means it will face external monitoring and the force must come up with an improvement plan.

The external monitoring and support will come from the College of Policing or the National Police Chiefs' Council, brokered by HMICFRS.

The watchdog is understood to be planning to formally confirm the decision within days, and it represents the first time the Met has been placed into special measures.

Patsy Stevenson, the 28-year-old detained at the Clapham Common vigil for Sarah Everard, responded to the news writing online: "The Met police have been placed in special measures. That's the whole tweet."

Greater Manchester Police was placed in special measures in 2020. Fourteen months later an inspection report found GMP was continuing to investigate crime poorly and taking too long to answer both 999 and non-emergency calls.

Inspectors from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said earlier this year the force still "doesn't investigate crimes effectively, so some offenders escape justice and victims don't get the service they deserve".