A Metropolitan Police officer walks near Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, in central London, on Jan 21, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
LONDON — London's police force said on Thursday it had dismissed dozens of officers in the last six months and was going through older misconduct cases in its bid to restore public trust and clean up its image after a series of scandals.
Last month, an independent review found the Metropolitan Police to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic, and unable to police itself. The review called for urgent reform of Britain's biggest force known as the Met.
The Met has suspended 144 officers over new and old misconduct cases, twice as many as in the previous six months, a report on improving standards in the force showed
Among some of the most shocking cases there was a conviction of one officer of multiple rapes while another was sentenced to life in prison for the abduction and murder of a woman as she walked home.
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The Met's new chief Mark Rowley, who took over last September, has vowed to rid the force of unsuitable individuals among its more than 43,000 officers and staff.
Since then, the Met has suspended 144 officers over new and old misconduct cases, twice as many as in the previous six months, a report on improving standards in the force showed. The number of dismissals rose 70 percent to 51 in the same period.
"I said we were serious about this and I meant it. This is the strongest doubling down on standards in the Met for 50 years," Rowley said in a statement.
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The Met's latest update said it had found nearly 200 cases where officers and staff needed urgent risk assessments or vetting reviews, and almost 700 completed cases where there might be new or missed lines of enquiry.
"On far too many occasions dating back 10 years, opportunities may have been missed or decisions have been taken that have left those who corrupt our integrity free to remain in policing," Rowley said.
Further reviews are ongoing to assess the vetting of serving officers and all staff are being checked against the Police National Computer (PNC), which records convictions.