Met Police whistleblowers are not entitled to anonymity, senior officer says

The Met’s deputy commissioner Sir Stephen House said this wouldn’t prevent officers from reporting their colleagues: “They would take pride in the fact that they’ve done that sort of thing.”

Metropolitan Police officers who blow the whistle on their colleagues for misconduct are not entitled to anonymity, according to one of the force’s most senior officers.

Speaking at a meeting of the London Assembly police and crime committee on Wednesday, the Met’s deputy commissioner Sir Stephen House revealed that officers who report their colleagues are not automatically entitled to protection.

Asked whether whistleblowers’ claims were handled confidentially, Sir Stephen House said: “It depends on the circumstances.

“But, frankly, it is their duty as a police officer to report that, so they wouldn’t get anonymity as an automatic case and they may have to give evidence in court.”

The question came from Assembly Member Susan Hall, who also asked whether a lack of protection for whistleblowers would prevent officers from reporting their colleagues for misconduct or inappropriate behaviour.

The deputy commissioner said: “No. I joined the police to lock bad people up, whether they’re in uniform or not, and most of my colleagues are the same, so they would take pride in the fact that they’ve done that sort of thing and done some good for the organisation.”

The revelation comes amid claims of a “canteen culture” within the Met that allows officers to get away with inappropriate behaviour or misconduct.

Sarah Everard

Sir Tom Winsor, who leads the UK’s main police watchdog, has suggested that officers should be subject to random spot checks of their phones to tackle “revolting” conduct.

Speaking at City Hall on Wednesday, Sir Stephen House said: “I think whatever the police service needs to do to ensure the highest levels of public trust.

“We probably need to look at doing things which are not normally acceptable to private citizens to ensure that the public can have the highest level of trust in the police.”