London police chief admits misconduct checks failing after damning report
Published: Oct 17, 2022 10:57 PM
The head of London's under-fire Metropolitan Police said on Monday that hundreds of serving officers should have been dismissed for gross misconduct, after an independent probe found its disciplinary processes racist and misogynistic.

Commissioner Mark Rowley conceded the Met's sacking of staff had been "massively under-engineered" as he estimated there were hundreds of current personnel who should have been axed from Britain's biggest force.

It followed the publication on Monday of a report by lawmaker and former senior civil servant Louise Casey, which concluded Met officers are getting away with breaking the law and committing misconduct.

Her investigation found the force's disciplinary system had racial and gender biases, and that allegations of sexual misconduct or discrimination were less likely to be pursued than other claims.

Responding to the damning report, Rowley said it was clear "there must be hundreds of people that shouldn't be here, who should be thrown out" for behaving "disgracefully [and] undermining our integrity."

The commissioner, who started in the role in September after the departure of predecessor Cressida Dick following a series of Met scandals, said he was acting to address the situation.

"I've already put in place a new anti-corruption and abuse command to use the same tactics we've used against organised crime and corrupt officers in that space to go after the racists and misogynists who are undermining us," he told BBC radio.

But Rowley - a former head of the Met's counter-terrorism unit - faces a tough task rebuilding public trust in the force that polices a population of more than 8 million people over 620 square miles (1,605 square kilometers).

Scotland Yard, as it is also known, was in June placed in special supervision by a police watchdog body for failing to hit standards targets.

The litany of recent scandals include the jailing of a diplomatic protection squad member for the high-profile kidnap, rape and murder of a young woman - and the heavy-handed policing of a vigil for her. Other officers have been convicted of taking unauthorized photographs of murder victims at crime sites, as well as the sharing of racist and abusive messages on social media and messaging apps.

In her report, Casey found personnel repeatedly accused of misconduct remained in post, with only 13 out of 1,809 officers and staff with more than one case against them since 2013 being sacked.

It noted 1,263 were involved in two or more cases, more than 500 were involved in three to five, and 41 were involved in six or more - with the highest number being 19.

As a result, Casey concluded the Met's misconduct process does not find and discipline officers with repeated or patterns of unacceptable behaviour