Met Police chief unable to sack 100 officers force ‘can’t trust’ to talk to public

“It’s completely mad that I have to employ people like that as police officers.”

The Met Police chief has slammed a “perverse” and “completely mad” situation in which he is unable to sack around a hundred officers who the force doesn’t trust to talk to the public.

Sir Mark Rowley said: “I’ve got about 100 officers in the organisation who have very restrictive conditions on them because frankly we don’t trust them to talk to members of the public.

“It’s completely mad that I have to employ people like that as police officers who you can’t trust to have contact with the public. It’s ridiculous.”

The commissioner made the shocking comments on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning (Thursday, November 24).

He told presenter Nick Robinson: “....I’ve got tens of thousands of great officers who are doing amazing things day in and day out for London. But I have hundreds of people who are letting us down and who I’m trying to sort out.”

New Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley. Photo: Met Police

Sir Mark was appointed in the wake of a series of scandals that saw Dame Cressida Dick exit the force after mayor Sadiq Khan lost confidence in her leadership.

These included the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by serving armed officer Wayne Couzens, the racist and misogynistic conduct of some officers at Charing Cross police station, and outrage over the photographing of dead sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.

Sir Mark, who Mr Khan has described as a “reforming commissioner”, said the force was getting “more assertive and creative” in its responses to rogue police and looking again at “powers to move more quickly against officers who we shouldn’t have”.

Asked whether he was able to fire any of those officers, he replied: “We’re looking at whether we’ve got any new legal levers, but on the conventional approaches we can’t.

“It’s perverse, isn’t it.”

Protests after the death of Sarah Everard. Photo: Getty

He added that he was unable to fully deploy more than 10% of the Met’s workforce, due to a range of reasons from health issues, suspensions and restrictions due to misconduct cases.

“There’s over 500 who are suspended or restricted because of misconduct investigations,” he told the BBC.

“And then there’s too many who for a whole range of reasons have restrictions who we need to get tougher on because that’s more than 10% of my workforce I can’t fully deploy.

“It’s not just an integrity issue - it actually goes to the ability to serve the public if you’re restricted in how you can deploy your resources when we’re very busy.”

Sir Mark Rowley has been announced as the Met Police’s new commissioner

The commissioner previously warned the force has 3,000 officers it cannot fully deploy due to injuries, mental health issues or inadequate performance.

Several investigations are ongoing into the force, including the Baroness Louise Casey standards review and the Dame Elish Angiolini inquiry into the Sarah Everard murder.

While a shock report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) into police vetting and misconduct raised concerns about the Met.

The inspectorate has already placed the force into special measures due to its failing performance and found officers who should have failed vetting were allowed to join.

Sir Mark Rowley, the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, has vowed to improve the force’s response to burglaries. (Photo: Getty)

Sir Mark’s warning came amid more than 100 arrests in the UK’s biggest ever fraud operation as officers shut down an international cyber crime site.

The Met said over 200,000 potential victims in the UK alone had been targeted by iSpoof - which scammers used to impersonate banks and con victims out of tens of millions.

Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Natwest, Nationwide and TSB customers all fell victim to the fraud, with scammers stealing £3.2m in less than two years.

Met cyber crime officers led the investigation alongside Europol, Dutch police and the FBI.

The Met is asking anyone who believes they were contacted as part of a scam where a number was spoofed to report this online via Action Fraud.

A spokesperson said: “We are actively contacting those numbers this week asking owners to visit our website for more information and to report any fraud losses online.

“We would always encourage members of the public to follow the Take Five to Stop Fraud advice and if they think they have been a victim of fraud, to contact their bank immediately and report to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk.”