'I will win back your trust': Met chief vows to turn around scandal-struck force with nine point plan

20 January 2023, 16:32 | Updated: 20 January 2023, 17:38

Sir Mark Rowley has pledged to turn around the force
Sir Mark Rowley has pledged to turn around the force. Picture: Alamy/Rex

By Will Taylor

The head of the Metropolitan Police has published his nine-point plan to reform the force after a wake of scandals including the rapist cop David Carrick.

Sir Mark Rowley promised to turn around the force, which he insisted is full of "tens of thousands of hard-working and honest officers".

He said: "I am determined to win back Londoners' trust.

"We can succeed because of the dedicated, honest, often heroic, men and women who are the great majority of the Met. Our work has begun, but I must be candid.

Read more: We failed, he shouldn't have been a cop: Met chief sorry after force missed nine chances to stop rapist David Carrick

"We cannot achieve the profound reforms needed quickly or without the ongoing help and support of wider policing, politicians, partner organisations and most of all, communities.

"Lifting the stone reveals painful truths that will not be resolved overnight, and it is critical that these truths cause none of us to lose our resolve to renew Peel’s vision of policing by consent."

Sir Mark has published the "Turnaround Plan", which the force said sets out how it will win back trust, reduce crime and ensure high standards over the next two years.

Sir Mark has promised to reform the Met
Sir Mark has promised to reform the Met. Picture: Alamy

It includes nine priorities to "deliver change and transformation".

He said communities want to see the Met be reformed after Carrick's appalling crimes. The ex-cop, who committed a string of sex crimes - including 24 counts of rape - managed to stay on as a diplomatic protection officer despite there having been nine chances to catch him.

Read more: Keir Starmer says Met 'needs to be turned inside out' in the wake of serial rapist David Carrick

Forces have been told to check all their officers against the national police database.

But there have been a string of controversies and scandals involving serving or retired Met cops, including cases where there may have been missed opportunities to realise an existing officer was rotten.

Sir Mark's priorities are:

  • Create the "strongest ever" neighbourhood policing
  • Strengthen its work in public protection and safeguarding
  • Providing a compassionate and effective service to victims and members of the public
  • Proactively reduce crime
  • Raise standards and show communities the force cares about them
  • "Set the frontline up to succeed"
  • Modernising its teaching and development of leaders
  • Be "relentlessly" data-driven and evidence-based
  • Make efficient use of resources

The plan will be updated in April after the force engages with various groups.

Sir Mark also admitted the Met had been "too weak in countering racism, misogyny, homophobia and ableism".

"We have let down those we're here to protect," he said.

It comes after Sir Keir Starmer called for root and branch reform at London's police force - which also handles national issues like diplomatic and VIP protection and takes the lead on counter-terrorism.

He told Global's The News Agents podcast: "It's root and branch, no stone unturned...and turn it inside out. Cultural change is the hardest - you can change the rules, you can change the people, but cultural change is very, very difficult.

"Strong leadership is needed."

The full plan can be viewed on the Metropolitan Police website, where feedback can also be given.