Exclusive

Met in 'crisis': Move on from Partygate and make streets safer, ex-commissioner urges

1 June 2022, 09:01 | Updated: 1 June 2022, 10:40

Lord John Stevens says the Met is 'in crisis'

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A former head of the Metropolitan Police has admitted the force is "in crisis" as it searches for a new commissioner.

Amid reports that there are just two candidates remaining for the job, Lord John Stevens told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on LBC this morning: "The Met is in crisis, we know that, over 50 per cent of people in London have no confidence in it."

There is "a massive job to do," he said.

He said the issues in the force stem back to when Theresa May was in government, when "there was a cut in resources" and "there was a change in terms of political accountability for police commissioners".

'I think she was served a very, very bad hand in terms of resources'

He added: "Basically we've got to a stage where the detection rates are the lowest ever, you've got the new HMI (Her Majesty's Inspectorate) coming in saying he's never known such a crisis in policing in his 36 years.

"I was in policing 43 years and been closely associated for the last eight years and I can tell you that I totally agree with that, we are in a big, big difficulty."

Dame Cressida Dick left the post of commissioner in April after the force was heavily criticised for a number of scandals, including the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens.

The strip-search of a black school girl who was menstruating, and a damning report into offensive messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross station, have also caused public outcry in recent months.

'Is it too political and not enough police now in this gig?'

However, Lord Stevens said he believed Dame Cressida was "served a very bad hand in terms of resources" and was "very unlucky in terms of what came along".

He added the "political side of it was very complex" and her replacement "has to have a contract with the politicians of all parties that we've got to get the streets of London safe, we have to get the standards of policing safe, some of the horrendous stories that have taken place where police officers were committing horrendous crimes, we've got to get to the bottom of that, and there has to be a timescale".

Lord Stevens, who was commissioner from 2000 to 2005, also agreed the top job at the Met is 'too political and not enough police'.

"The bottom line is as commissioner you have to actually get agreement, you have to go along to see the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, in my case the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor, and you have to pull all these things together," he said.

Lord Stevens hopes there won't ever be Met Commissioner from overseas

"There are stresses and strains but it’s your job. It’s a job you have to work at 24 hours a day to get on with them - and convince them you’re doing a good job."

He added that he "hoped" there would never be an overseas commissioner, saying "policing in the United Kingdom is totally different from policing in Europe and certainly the States".

"I really do believe we have to get back in terms of ensuring we have a career pattern for people in the police which Theresa May destroyed by the new system and getting rid of the police college," he said.

"We've got to get back to bringing the talent through and actually testing people, ensure they have all the qualities and talent and knowledge and judgement to do what is without any doubt a very difficult job."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Graziano Di Prima has broken his silence

Disgraced Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima allegedly 'spat, kicked and berated' Zara McDermott before sacking

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Gunshots and a defiant fist: How the first attempted assassination against a Presidential candidate in 52 years unfolded

What will following the shooting of Donald Trump?

Donald Trump shot during campaign rally: Jon Sopel explains what it means for the US Presidential race

The nation is gripped by Euros fever

England expects! Nation gripped by Euros fever as fans prepare for historic final against Spain

Donald Trump has been shot through the ear at a rally in Pennsylvania - as one bystander was killed and two others were critically injured.

Pictured: Shocking scenes as gunman shoots Donald Trump during rally leaving one bystander dead

Liz Truss has reacted to her party's terrible election results

Liz Truss blames Tory election drubbing on Rishi Sunak ‘trashing her record’ before pointing finger at Tony Blair

Joe Biden reacts to the assassination attempt of Donald Trump

‘Everyone must condemn it’: Joe Biden labels Donald Trump assassination attempt ‘sick’ as world leaders react

Donald Trump was shot at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania yesterday

Gunman behind Donald Trump’s assassination attempt is 20-year-old Republican supporter, FBI reveals

Donald Trump's ear was grazed in a shooting at a campaign rally yesterday

‘Much bleeding took place’: Donald Trump releases statement after being shot at campaign rally

President Trump was shot at a rally in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump carried off stage by Secret Service after shooting at campaign rally

American XL bully

Police raid suspected XL Bully farm and arrest man as 13 dogs seized inside house with children

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has told the England team that they have "made the country proud" before their crunch Euros final against Spain on Sunday.

'Bring it home': Keir Starmer sends message to England team ahead of showpiece Euros final against Spain

spanhoe airfield near corby main runway

Pilot killed in plane crash at former RAF airfield near Corby as police urge witnesses to come forward

A child is dead and five people have been injured after a house fire in East Ham, London.

Child dead after deadly blaze that injured five which gutted east London home and needed 40 firefighters to tackle

Daniel Halliday went missing while playing in the water with his brother on June 30.

Body found in the sea confirmed to be 14-year-old Daniel Halliday who was swept away in River Mersey on June 30

A Scottish council has come under fire for handing almost 2,000 penalties in the first 11 days of its low emission zone

Scottish council under fire after handing out 2,000 fines in first 11 days of new low emission zone