'I've shed a tear over misconduct report': Met chief Sir Mark Rowley says hundreds of officers should be sacked

17 October 2022, 08:03 | Updated: 17 October 2022, 10:02

Nick Ferrari speaks to Sir Mark Rowley
Nick Ferrari speaks to Sir Mark Rowley. Picture: LBC

By Emma Soteriou

Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has admitted that he shed a tear over a misconduct report condemning the force.

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A review of Metropolitan Police conduct and its systems for dealing with misbehaviour was condemned in an explosive new report from Baroness Casey.

The report, which was prompted by the murder of Sarah Everard, outlined the inadequacy of investigation and punishment powers in the London police.

"Reading some of the stories and talking to some officers it's hard for it not to bring a tear to your eye... what they've encountered and what's been badly dealt with," Sir Mark said.

"Frankly, we've been too weak at setting standards in the organisation - there's been lots of good intent but when you get under the surface you find we've been too weak, too forgiving of standards that should be - in any sensible organisation - say a red card and you're gone.

"We haven't done that, but we are going to on my watch."

Read more: Hundreds of serving police officers should be booted out for criminal behaviour, Met boss says

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Met Police Commissioner: I've shed a tear over misconduct report

When asked whether he had gotten emotional over the report, Sir Mark said: "The combination over the last few weeks of seeing advanced drafts of the report and talking to officers in the organisation, I have shed a tear."

Having risen to the rank of Assistant Commissioner during his time in the force, he added that he had never heard of the issues referenced going on.

"I spent most of that time running the counter terrorism operations for the country and we were particularly busy that time with taking on ISIS.

"I sat on some misconduct panels, I was pretty ruthless, there was almost nobody I ever kept in the organisation. I've always set pretty high standards.

"The thing about my position is you're not going to see things yourself, we need to root it out and find it.

He went on to say: "Louise Casey has got under our skin like nobody else before - it's very powerful, it's very humbling - but we will sort this."

Sir Mark Rowley: Frankly, we've been too weak at setting standards in the organisation

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Officers in the Met are getting away with breaking the law and committing misconduct, the Casey report found.

It also discovered there was a "racial disparity" throughout the misconduct system, with lower ethical standards for white officers than their BAME counterparts.

Repeat misconduct offenders have also remained in post, with only 13 out of 1,809 officers and staff with more than one case against them since 2013 being sacked.

One in five officers in the internal misconduct system were involved in two or more cases but the way the system is set up means each is looked at individually.

'I can't look you in the eye and say we haven't got officers who are treating women appallingly'

Sir Mark estimated that hundreds of officers should be sacked from the force.

"We're currently sacking 30 to 50 cops a year... that's clearly i na system where we're being far, far too weak.

"We need to be more robust and over the next few years we need to be removing hundreds of officers from the force who don't live up to the values the public would expect of us."

One of things wrong in the Met is 'how they deal with their misconduct', says Baroness Casey.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, Baroness Casey said the only way the force will be able to progress is if it does not deny the findings or attempt to pin the blame on someone else.

She acknowledged that Sir Mark was already showing progress by accepting the misconduct report and would be the one to "grip the crisis" but insisted the whole force needed to understand.

"Their system is not fit for purpose and not fair," she said.