'Well over' 500 Metropolitan Police officers on restricted duties and hundreds more suspended, Sir Mark Rowley reveals

20 June 2023, 16:01

Sir Mark has admitted hundreds of cops are on restricted duties or suspended
Sir Mark has admitted hundreds of cops are on restricted duties or suspended. Picture: Alamy/Global

By Will Taylor

Britain's top police officer has revealed "well over" 500 officers are on restricted duties as he tries to rid the Met of crooked cops.

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Sir Mark Rowley, the commissioner of the force, admitted hundreds will need to be sacked in the campaign to repair the public's trust in Scotland Yard following a string of high-profile scandals including the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.

Asked how many police officers have been suspended, he told The News Agents podcast: "We have well over 500 who are on restricted [duties] and several hundred who are suspended."

He said the exact figure changes every day.

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"I've said we need to get rid of hundreds of people. If you look back over the last few years, the Met has been sacking 50 people a year so clearly the answer is going to be a lot more than that," he added.

"So it's going to be hundreds of people we need to remove from the organisation who are a serious challenge."

Sir Mark was brought in nearly a year ago after Dame Cressida Dick lost the confidence of London's mayor Sadiq Khan.

She oversaw a controversial period in the force as scandal after scandal emerged.

Sir Mark has pledged to root out and boot out police who fall short of the high standards he demands.

But he has acknowledged the task facing him is enormous.

Read more: Stop and Search is in our 'armoury' but 'burns through trust', says Sir Mark Rowley

Pushed on why so many officers were under some kind of suspension or investigation, he said the force's own success was leading to more complaints against cops.

"There are a combination of fresh allegations coming in, because we have shown that we are up for the fight, and that part of reporting issues is about confidence," he said.

"So the fact that we've shown that, the number of allegations has gone up quite dramatically, which is positive.

"And some of it is some of the old cases that we're reopening."

Sir Mark wants to clean up the troubled force
Sir Mark wants to clean up the troubled force. Picture: Alamy

Sir Mark has previously complained that it should be easier to sack officers who don't live up to expectations.

His comments come after he revealed to the podcast that stop and search can "burn" through public trust after home secretary Suella Braverman urged police to use the power more.

"It's not an order," he said. "I don't think she would see it as an order. But I definitely don't take it as one.

"We are going to use the right tactics to tackle violence on the streets of London. Stop and search is a key tactic in that, so it is part of our armoury... If it's done badly, it burns through trust."

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