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28th Jun 2022

Met Police to be put under special measures after litany of scandals including Sarah Everard murder

Steve Hopkins

Ghislaine Maxwell

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services is expected to announce the decision in days

The Metropolitan Police is being placed into special measures by a police watchdog after a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMIC) reportedly sent a letter to Met bosses to say there have been “substantial and persistent concerns” about the force and that it will now be subject to extra monitoring as a part of an “engage phase”.

On Tuesday, HMIC confirmed the action in a brief statement, writing:  “We can confirm that we are now monitoring the Metropolitan Police Service through our Engage process, which provides additional scrutiny and support to help it make improvements.”

The watchdog is understood to be planning to announce its decision within days, the first time the Met has been placed into special measures, The Times reported.

The Met will be under enhanced scrutiny and be required to report to inspectors more regularly. It  could be asked to meet specific crime-fighting targets.

The development comes as the Met struggles to improve public trust and after the departure of Dame Cressida Dick in February after London Mayor Sadiq Khan withdrew his support.

It also follows the Charing Cross scandal where officers joked about rape and racism, the strip search of a 12-year-old schoolgirl on her period, the bungling of the Stephen Port serial killer case and the stop and search of athlete Bianca Williams that led to five officers facing a gross misconduct hearing.

LBC political editor Theo Usherwood tweeted that Matt Parr from the HMIC had written to acting commissioner Stephen House saying there was “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”.

Parr, Usherwood said, went on to say there had been “substantial and persistent concerns” about the Met and cited “systemic failures” around counter-corruption arrangements highlighted by the Daniel Morgan independent panel.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, according to ITV, said she expects the police to “get the basics right”.

“It is clear the Metropolitan Police Service is falling short of these expectations which is why I support the action that HMICFRS has taken today to highlight their failings – and I expect the Met and the London Mayor to take immediate action to begin addressing them.”

Patel added that the process to recruit a new Commissioner is “well underway and I have made clear that the successful candidate must demonstrate sustained improvements in the Metropolitan Police Service in order to regain public trust both in London and across the country”.

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