The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, has announced that hundreds of staff are being sacked or placed on restricted duties as part of continuing efforts to clean up the force.

It comes after the Met was branded institutionally homophobic, misogynist – and for the second time – institutionally racist in a report published last month.

Baroness Casey’s review into the force’s culture was commissioned after the murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, a serving officer at the time. It also looked at failings by the force that allowed David Carrick to continue working as a police officer despite being a serial abuser and rapist.

Here is a what Sir Mark’s announcement tells us about the Met’s operation to root out serving officers guilty of sex crimes, abuse and corruption.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley answering questions from the London Assembly police and crime committee at City Hall in east London. The appearance comes after Baroness Casey's review of the Met Police found Britain's biggest police force is institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic and that there may be more officers like killer Wayne Couzens and serial rapist David Carrick. Picture date: Wednesday March 22, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE Casey. Photo credit should read: James Manning/PA Wire
Sir Mark Rowley has said the most urgent thing to do to address the Met’s cultural issues is to remove rogue officers (Photo: James Manning/PA)

What’s the latest action the Met has taken to root out rogue officers?

In a letter to Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, and Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, Sir Mark said the work to clean up the force was so urgent that around 90 officers had been diverted from serious crimes to the Directorate for Professional Standards (DPS).

The DPS is the Met’s internal body responsible for investigating complaints about the conduct of its officers.

Sir Mark said: “Not only have we increased our DPS by 150 people, but the scale and urgency of this work has meant diverting officers from other missions such as serious and organised crime and counter-terrorism.

“Over the last three months we have had, on average, 90 additional officers and staff from these areas supporting DPS. The shared determination has been seen through the excess of volunteers.

“We have taken this decision because we cannot succeed in any policing mission unless we resolve these issues as urgently as possible.”

How else is the Met tackling wrongdoing by officers?

The Met is carrying out a series of reviews of officers and staff to try to remove those who should not be in their jobs.

Sir Mark said he was considering tightening the rules around officers and staff with criminal convictions, to ban anyone prosecuted for anything other than “the most trivial matters” or offences, except for a small number of juvenile cases, from being hired.

A total of 161 Met officers have criminal convictions, 76 for serious traffic offences including drink-driving and careless driving.

A further 49 have convictions for crimes of dishonesty or violence – eight of whom committed the offences while they were police officers and remain serving with the force.

Others have been convicted of drug possession, criminal damage and public order offences, and three serving officers have convictions for sexual offences.

All 50,000 employees of the Met are also being checked against the police national database, which stores operational policing information and intelligence from individual forces.

Of the 10,000 records that have been checked so far, 38 cases of potential misconduct have been uncovered and 55 where there is an off-duty association with a criminal.

Checks on the remainder of the records are due to be completed by the summer.

Vetting rules have already been toughened up, with officers and staff being re-vetted if their behaviour is of concern, for example after a criminal investigation or misconduct hearing where they remain in the Met.

In the coming months, more than 100 individuals are expected to have their status reviewed, Sir Mark said.

In addition to the wider review into standards and culture across the Met, the force also committed to a root-and-branch review of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection (PaDP) Command, the unit in which Couzens and Carrick served.

Baroness Casey’s report called for the unit to be “disbanded” in its current form, and for an “absolute ‘reset’ with a new ethos, identity and a focus on rooting out unacceptable behaviour”.

How many officers accused of sex crimes and abuse remain in the Met?

The Commissioner revealed there have been 1,000 calls to a hotline set up to enable the public to report Met officers abusing their positions of trust.

As a result, 350 reports are being responded to, and officers have been arrested and suspended from duty.

Of the roughly 34,000 officers in the Met, 701 are currently on restricted duties.

The Met Commissioner believes there are hundreds of corrupt officers serving in the force who should not be in the job. The exact figure is not known because not all officers who should not remain in post have been identified.

Asked by journalists if there could be more officers like Couzens and Carrick in the Met after the publication of her final report, Baroness Casey said: “I cannot sufficiently assure you that that is not the case.”

Sir Mark has warned the public to be braced for more “painful stories” about officers’ criminality, suggesting two or three officers would appear in court charged with offences including sex crimes.

In January it emerged that the Met was investigating claims of abuse against 800 serving officers.

More than 1,600 cases of alleged sexual offences or domestic violence involving officers and staff in Britain’s biggest police from the past decade were subject to the review initiated in response to the Carrick case.

Sir Mark said that of the 1,131 individuals whose cases were reviewed, 246 would see no further action; 689 would have their case reassessed; and 196 would be referred into formal risk management measures and might have their vetting status reviewed.

Each of the cases will also be reviewed by an external panel.

How has the Government responded to the Met’s update?

Ms Braverman said: “Sir Mark’s update on the work to root out unfit officers demonstrates the scale of this challenge but I have confidence in his plan to turn around the Met and ensure the force is delivering for the public.

“I am also driving forward work to review the police dismissals process to ensure the system is effective at removing officers who fall below the standards we expect.”

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