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New Met Police commissioner 'must get rid of a quarter of top officers', says report
11 September 2022, 17:49
The new commissioner of the Metropolitan Police must clear out a quarter of his senior police officers, a think tank has said.
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Sir Mark Rowley begins work as the top police officer in London tomorrow (Monday, September 12), after Dame Cressida Dick left the force earlier this year.
But he faces an uphill struggle to restore confidence in the Met, with conservative think tank Policy Exchange claiming that he should get rid of at least a quarter of his top officers - because more than 60% of the rank and file don't trust them, according to a survey.
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"There should be a reduction in the number of chief officers across the Met," the report said.
"The Met’s current situation strongly suggests that having more senior leaders does not necessarily equate to better organisational leadership. The number of commanders in the Met should be reduced from the current nineteen to no more than eleven.
"The number of deputy assistant commissioners should be reduced from ten to no more than six."
Aside from longer-term concerns over leadership, Sir Mark faces a full in-tray of immediate issues to tackle when he starts work on Monday.
Protesters took to the streets on Saturday over the police's killing of Chris Kaba, an unarmed black man and father to be, during a stop on Monday (September 5).
It comes after the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) yesterday launched a homicide investigation into the incident in Streatham Hill. The officer who shot Mr Kaba, 24, has been taken off active duty.
Flowers left in tribute for Chris Kaba
At the protest, which was attended by hundreds of people including rapper Stormzy, signs reading "Black Lives Matter", "Justice for Chris Kaba" and "Abolish the Met" were held up as speakers using a megaphone led chants of "no justice, no peace" and "police are the murderers".
The IOPC has previously confirmed that no gun was found in the Audi that Mr Kaba was driving.The PA news agency understands the only firearm recovered from the scene was the one involved in the shooting.
Mr Kaba died after his car was hemmed in by two police vehicles in narrow residential street Kirkstall Gardens and one round was fired from a police weapon.
He was given first aid by officers at the scene and taken to hospital where he died later in the night.
His family, in a statement issued on Wednesday, questioned whether his life would have been "cut short" if he were not black and demanded "answers and accountability".
Police cordon in place at site of Chris Kaba shooting in Streatham
Sir Mark has already come under pressure from top politicians.
The Met must learn from the "appalling" recent mistakes in recent years, former Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a letter to the incoming commissioner.
“Several recent high-profile incidents have affected public trust and confidence across communities particularly in London – raising serious questions about the culture and standards in the MPS.
“These include Sarah Everard’s murder, strip searches of children, the vetting of police officers, basic respect and standards as exposed in the misconduct at Charing Cross police station in Operation Hotton, and the findings of the inquest into the handling of the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor.
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She pointed out a recent report by a police watchdog into the force's response to burglaries, robberies and other similar crimes.
Ms Patel added: "That report found that on too many occasions the Met, as a force, is failing to get the basics right when dealing with these crimes, which cause immense distress to the public. It is deeply disappointing and unacceptable that many police forces are falling short."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also said that Sir Mark would need to bring in "urgent reforms" to the force.
He said: “A robust plan is required to rebuild trust and confidence in the Met police and to drive through the urgent reforms and step change in culture and performance Londoners deserve.
“I look forward to supporting Sir Mark and working closely with the Home Secretary as we work to restore trust and confidence in the police, ensure that the Met gets the basics of policing right, and build on the success we have made in driving down violence and crime in our city.”