Metropolitan Police

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Metropolitan Police Service
Badge during the reign of Elizabeth II
Badge during the reign of Elizabeth II
Common nameThe Met[1]
Agency overview
Formed29 September 1829; 193 years ago (1829-09-29)[3]
Preceding agencies
Employees43,571 in total[6]
32,493 police officers[6]
9,816 police staff[6]
1,262 PCSOs[6]
Volunteers1,858 special constables
1,500 police support volunteers
3,658 volunteer police cadets
Annual budget£3.24 billion[7]
Legal personalityPolice force
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionGreater London (minus City of London), England, United Kingdom
England Police Forces (Metropolitan).svg
Map of police area
Size1,578 km2 (609 sq mi)
Population8.95 million (2019/20)[8]
Legal jurisdictionEngland and Wales
(throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, including Scotland and Northern Ireland, under certain limited circumstances)
Primary governing bodyMayor's Office for Policing and Crime
Secondary governing bodyHome Office
Constituting instruments
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by
HeadquartersNew Scotland Yard, London SW1A[9]
Police officers32,493 full time
1,858 special constables
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime responsible
Agency executives
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement and the prevention of crime in Greater London. In addition, it is responsible for some specialised matters throughout the United Kingdom, including national counter-terrorism measures and the protection of specific people, such as the monarch and other members of the royal family, members of the government,[11] and other officials.

The main geographical area of responsibilities, the Metropolitan Police District, consists of the 32 London boroughs,[12] but does not include the City of London proper – the central financial district – which is policed by a separate force, the City of London Police. As the force responsible for the capital of the United Kingdom, the Met has significant unique responsibilities and challenges, such as protecting 164 foreign embassies and High Commissions,[13] policing London City and Heathrow Airports, protecting the Palace of Westminster, and dealing with significantly more protests and events than any other British force, with 3,500 such events in 2016.[13]

The force, by officer numbers, is the largest in the United Kingdom by a significant margin, and one of the biggest in the world.[14] Leaving its national responsibilities aside, the Met has the eighth-smallest police area (primary geographic area of responsibility) of the territorial police forces in the United Kingdom.

The force is led by the Commissioner, whose formal title is the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. The Commissioner is answerable to the Home Office and the Mayor of London, through the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. The post of Commissioner was first held jointly by Sir Charles Rowan and Sir Richard Mayne. Sir Mark Rowley is the current Commissioner; he succeeded Acting Commissioner Sir Stephen House in July 2022. [15] A number of informal names are used for the service, most commonly the Met. It is also referred to as Scotland Yard or the Yard, after the location of its original headquarters in a road called Great Scotland Yard in Whitehall.[16] The Met's current headquarters is New Scotland Yard, on the Victoria Embankment.[17]


The Metropolitan Police Service was founded in 1829 by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 and on 29 September of that year, the first constables of the service appeared on the streets of London.[18] Ten years later, Metropolitan Police Act 1839 consolidated policing within London by expanding the Metropolitan Police District and either abolishing or amalgamating the various other law enforcement entities within London into the Metropolitan Police such as the Thames River Police and the Bow Street Runners.[19][20]


Since January 2012, the Mayor of London is responsible for the governance of the Metropolitan Police through the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).[21] The mayor is able to appoint someone to act on his behalf. As of April 2019, the office-holder is Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden.[22] The work of MOPAC is scrutinised by the Police and Crime Committee (also known as a police and crime panel) of the London Assembly. These structures were created by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and replaced the Metropolitan Police Authority-appointed board created in 2000 by Greater London Authority Act 1999.

Police area and other forces[edit]

The area policed by the Metropolitan Police Service is known as the Metropolitan Police District (MPD). The Met was divided into 32 Borough Operational Command Units that directly aligned with the 32 London boroughs covered. This situation has changed since 2017, as the Met has attempted to save money due to cuts in funding. The MPD is now divided into 12 Basic Command Units (BCUs) made up of two, three or four boroughs. There is criticism of these changes.[23] The City of London (which is not a London borough) is a separate police area and is the responsibility of the separate City of London Police.

New Scotland Yard is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police.

The Ministry of Defence Police is responsible for policing of Ministry of Defence property throughout the United Kingdom, including its headquarters in Whitehall and other MoD establishments across the MPD.[24]

The British Transport Police (BTP) are responsible for policing of the rail network in Great Britain, including London. Within London, they are also responsible for the policing of the London Underground, London Trams, the London Cable Car and the Docklands Light Railway.[25]

The English part of the Royal Parks Constabulary, which patrolled a number of Greater London's major parks, was merged with the Metropolitan Police in 2004, and those parks are now policed by the Royal Parks Operational Command Unit.[26] There is also a small park police force, the Kew Constabulary, responsible for the Royal Botanic Gardens, whose officers have full police powers within the park. A few local authorities maintain their own borough park constabularies, including Wandsworth Parks and Events Police, Kensington and Chelsea Parks Police, Havering Parks Constabulary and the Hampstead Heath Constabulary. All of these enjoy powers of arrest without warrant as constables,[27] however the officers of the latter have full police powers, much like officers of the Metropolitan Police on the Heath. The other parks police primarily focus on by-law enforcement.

Metropolitan Police officers have legal jurisdiction throughout all of England and Wales, including areas that have their own special police forces, such as the Ministry of Defence, as do all police officers of territorial police forces.[28] Officers also have limited powers in Scotland and Northern Ireland.[29] Within the MPD, the Met will take over the investigation of any serious crime from the Ministry of Defence Police and to a lesser degree BTP, if it is deemed appropriate. Terrorist incidents and complex murder enquiries will almost always be investigated by the Met,[30][31] with the assistance of any relevant specialist force, even if they are committed on Ministry of Defence or railway property. A minor incursion into the normal jurisdiction of territorial police officers in England and Wales is that Met officers involved in the protection duties of the Royal Family and other VIPs have full police powers in Scotland and Northern Ireland in connection with those duties.[32]

Organisation and structure[edit]

The Metropolitan Police Service is organised into the following directorates:[33]

Each is overseen by an Assistant Commissioner or, in the case of administrative departments, a director of police staff, which is the equivalent civilian staff grade. The management board is made up of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioners and Directors.


The Metropolitan Police Service uses the standard British police ranks, indicated by epaulettes, up to chief superintendent, but uniquely has five ranks above that level instead of the standard three; namely commander, deputy assistant commissioner, assistant commissioner, deputy commissioner and commissioner.[34] All senior officers of the rank of Commander and above are chief police officers of NPCC (previously ACPO) rank.

The Met approved the use of name badges in October 2003, with new recruits wearing the Velcro badges from September 2004. The badge consists of the wearer's rank, followed by their surname.[35] All officers are assigned a unique identification number which includes a two-letter BCU (Basic Command Unit) code.

Following controversy over assaults by uniformed officers with concealed shoulder identification numbers during the G20 summit,[36] Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said, "the public has a right to be able to identify any uniformed officer whilst performing their duty" by their shoulder identification numbers.[37]


The Met uniformed officer rank structure, with epaulette design, is as follows:

The Met also has several active Volunteer Police Cadet units, which maintain their own internal rank structure.[38] The Metropolitan Special Constabulary is a contingent of part-time volunteer police officers and is attached to most Borough Operational Command Units. The Metropolitan Special Constabulary Ranks are as follows:

Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary Ranks
Rank Special constable Special sergeant Special inspector Special chief inspector Assistant chief officer Chief officer
Epaulette Insignia Met SC Epaulette.svg Met SSgt Epaulette.svg SInsp with Crown.svg SCI with Crown.svg 2Bars+SC+Crowns.svg 4Bars+SC+Crown.svg

The prefix "woman" in front of female officers' ranks has been obsolete since 1999. Members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) up to and including the rank of chief superintendent prefix their ranks with "detective". Detective ranks are equivalent in rank to their uniform counterparts. Other departments, such as Special Branch and Child Protection, award non-detectives "branch detective" status, allowing them to use the "Detective" prefix. None of these detective ranks confer on the holder any extra pay or supervisory authority compared to their uniformed colleagues.


The following is the current released workforce data for the ranks. The chief officers rank covers all senior ranks as well as special constables covering all special constable ranks.

Metropolitan Police Workforce
Rank Police staff Police support volunteer Designated Officer PCSO Special constable Constable Sergeant Inspector Chief inspector Superintendent Chief superintendent Chief officer
Female personnel 5285 468 340 478 530 7465 956 270 68 44 12 8
Male personnel 3626 257 390 829 1330 17329 3526 935 232 147 45 26
Total personnel 8911 725 730 1307 1860 24794 4482 1205 300 191 57 34
Reference 2019 Police workforce open data tables[40]


Coat of arms of Metropolitan Police
Coat of Arms of the Metropolitan Police Service.svg
On a wreath Argent and Azure, three arrows, one in pale and two in saltire, barbs downward, Proper, banded Azure and ensigned by the Royal Crown proper.
Azure, a portcullis chained within a double tressure flory counterflory Argent.
On either side a lion rampant guardant Argent, gorged with a collar Azure charged alternately with bezants and bees volant, grasping in the interior paw a column Or.


Metropolitan Police officers wearing traditional custodian helmets
Met officers, alongside British Transport Police on 'mutual aid', at a G20 protest in 2009.
Armed DPG police officers. Downing Street gates, 2014

The Metropolitan Police Service is composed of police officers and oolice staff (civilians who are non-warranted). Police officers include full-time, paid officers known as 'regulars', and part-time, voluntary officers from the Metropolitan Special Constabulary. Both regulars and specials enjoy full police powers, wear the same uniform, and carry the same kit. Police Staff include police community support officers (PCSOs), designated detention officers (DDOs), and many other civilian roles.[41] The Met was the first constabulary to introduce PCSOs. Unlike civilian police staff, police officers in the Met (as elsewhere in the UK) are not employees, but rather Crown servants, and holders of the Office of Constable.

Funding for the Metropolitan Police has been cut due to austerity. Changes in the way the government pays for police pensions will lead to further cuts.[42]

Police numbers[edit]

  • Police officers (regular - of all ranks): 32,373[43]
  • Police officers (special - of all ranks): 1,840[43]
  • Police staff (PCSO): 1,254[43]
  • Police staff (designated detention dfficers): 614[44]
  • Police staff (other): 9,814[43]
  • Police dogs: around 250[45]
  • Police horses: 120[46]

Historic numbers of police officers[edit]

  • 1852: 5,625[47]
  • 1866: 6,839[48]
  • 1877: 10,336^[49]
  • 1887: 14,191[50]
  • 1912: 20,529[51]
  • 1929: 19,290[52]
  • 1938: 18,511
  • 1944: 17,976*[53]
  • 1952: 16,400[54]
  • 1965: 18,016[55]
  • 1984: 27,000 (approximate)[56]
  • 2001: 25,000 (approximate)[57]
  • 2003: 28,000 (approximate)[58]
  • 2004: 31,000 (approximate)[58]
  • 2009: 32,543 (excluding 2,622 special constables)[59]
  • 2010: 33,260 (excluding 3,125 special constables)[60]
  • 2011: 32,380 (excluding 4,459 special constables)[61]
  • 2013: 30,398 (excluding 5,303 special constables)[62]
  • 2014: 30,932 (excluding 4,587 special constables)[63]
  • 2015: 31,877[64]
  • 2016: 32,125[64]
  • 2017: 30,817[44]
  • 2019: 30,980 (excluding 1,749 special constables)
  • 2020: 32,766 (excluding 1,874 special constables)[43]

*include temporary constables from war period

^includes 753 officers policing Her Majesty's Dockyards throughout the country


The Met operates and maintains a fleet of nearly 5,000 vehicles. In 2018, the fleet covered 46,777,720 miles (75,281,440 km).[65] The fleet comprises numerous vehicles, including:[66]

  • Incident response vehicles (IRV): attached to the various Basic Command Units (BCU) of the Metropolitan Police area, used for frontline policing duties such as patrol and emergency response. Currently using: Vauxhall Astra, BMW 2 Series, Peugeot 308, BMW i3 and Ford Focus.
  • Q-cars: covert unmarked vehicles, belonging to a variety of departments.
  • Armed response vehicle (ARV): Transports authorised firearms officers trained to use firearms to deal with incidents involving deadly weapons. Currently using: BMW X5 and Volvo XC90.
  • Traffic units: respond to traffic accidents on major roads, enforce traffic laws and encourage road safety. Currently using: BMW 5 Series, BMW X5, Ford Mondeo, and Skoda Octavia.
  • Motorcycles: utilised by the Roads and Transport Policing Command and Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection for more agile patrol and response.
  • Scrambler bikes: used by Operation Venice officers to combat moped gangs.[67]
  • Collision investigation units (CIU): respond to and appropriately investigate all major road traffic collisions.
  • Protected carriers: used for public order duties.
  • Personnel carriers: used to transport numerous officers on patrol and to incidents, as well as non-violent public order situations.
  • Station vans: used to transport both officers and suspects in a cage in the rear of the van. Currently using: Ford Transit.
  • Commercial vehicle units: used to respond to incidents involving commercial vehicles.
  • CBRN units: used to mitigate chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents. These are identified by a large amount of equipment lockers on newer vans and a large array of detecting equipment on the top of older vans.
  • Control units: used for incident command and control purposes.
  • Armoured multi-role vehicles: used for public order duties, airport and counter-terrorism duties, or as required.
  • General purpose vehicles: used for general support and transportation duties of officers or equipment.
  • Training vehicles: used to train police drivers.
  • Miscellaneous vehicles: such as horseboxes and trailers.

The majority of vehicles have a service life of three to five years; the Met replaces or upgrades between 800 and 1,000 vehicles each year. By 2012 the Met was marking all new marked vehicles with Battenburg markings, a highly-reflective material on the side of the vehicles, chequered blue and yellow for the police, and in other colours for other services. The old livery was an orange stripe through the vehicle, with the force's logo.

The National Police Air Service provides helicopter support to the Met.

A marine policing unit operates 22 vessels from its base in Wapping.


The force's expenditure for single years, not adjusted for inflation.[68]

Year Amount Notes
1829/30 £194,126
1848 £437,441
1873 £1.1 million
1898 £1.8 million
1923 £7.8 million
1948 £12.6 million
1973 £95 million
1998/9 £2.03 billion
2011/12 £3.69 billion £2.754 billion was spent on staff wages[69][70]
2017/18 £3.26 billion[71]

Crime figures[edit]

Crimes reported within the Metropolitan Police District, selected by quarter centuries.[72]

  • 1829/30: 20,000
  • 1848: 15,000
  • 1873: 20,000
  • 1898: 18,838
  • 1923: 15,383
  • 1948: 126,597
  • 1973: 355,258
  • 1998/9: 934,254
  • 2017/18: 827,225[73]

Detection rates[edit]

The following table shows the percentage detection rates for the Metropolitan Police by offence group for 2010/11.[74]

Total Violence against the person Sexual offences Robbery Burglary Offences against vehicles Other theft offences Fraud and forgery Criminal damage Drug offences Other offences
Metropolitan Police 24 35 23 17 11 5 14 16 13 91 63
England and Wales 28 44 30 21 13 11 22 24 14 94 69

The Metropolitan Police Service "screened out" 34,164 crimes the day they were reported in 2017 and did not investigate them further. This compares to 13,019 the previous year. 18,093 crimes were closed in 24 hours during the first 5 months of 2018 making it likely that the 2017 total will be exceeded. Crimes not being investigated include sexual assaults and arson, burglaries, thefts and assaults. Some critics believe this shows the effect of austerity on the force's ability to carry out its responsibilities.[75]

Specialist units[edit]

  • A Jankel Guardian Counter-Terrorist Assault Vehicle, based on the Ford F450 – utilised for airport patrols, counter-terrorism and public order situations
    Protection Command – This command is split into two branches: Royalty and Specialist Protection (RASP) and Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection (PaDP). RaSP provides personal armed protection for the Royal family, Prime Minister and other ministers, ambassadors and visiting heads of state. PaDP is responsible for providing armed officers to protect the Palace of Westminster, important residences such as Downing Street and the many embassies found located in London. Royal Palaces are the responsibility of RaSP.[76] The Special Escort Group (SEG) are responsible for escorting the Royal Family, Prime Minister and other ministers, ambassadors and visiting heads of state, and occasionally prisoner transport.
  • Aviation Policing Command – Responsible for providing policing (with the majority being armed officers) at Heathrow Airport and London City Airport.[77]
  • Flying Squad – A unit which investigates and intercepts armed robberies. The name comes from the fact its members travelled across divisional and borough boundaries.
  • Trident Gang Crime Command – Investigates and works to prevent gang crime.
  • Roads and Transport Policing Command – Provides policing for the transport network in London, comprising numerous divisions: the Traffic Division, patrols the road, pursuing fleeing suspects and enforcing speed, safety, and drink driving;[78] the Road Crime Team focuses on dangerous drivers, priority roads, uninsured vehicles and 'fatal four' offences;[79] the Safer Transport Team (STT) provide a policing presence on Transport for London's buses and investigates most crimes committed on them.
  • Specialist Firearms Command – (SCO19) Responsible for providing armed response and support across the whole of London with Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO) travelling in ARVs (Armed Response Vehicles) responding to calls involving firearms and weapons. SCO19 has a number of CTSFOs (Counter Terrorist Specialist Firearms Officers), who have additional training.[80]
  • Dog Support Unit – (DSU) Provides highly trained dogs and police handlers. They are trained to detect drugs and firearms, respond to searches, missing people, and fleeing suspects. Bomb-detection dogs are also used for specific duties.[81]
  • Marine Policing Unit – (MPU) Provides policing on the waterways of London, responding to situations in the River Thames and tracking and stopping illegal vessels entering and exiting London.[82]
  • Mounted Branch – Provides policing on horseback in London. One of their duties is escorting the Royal Guard down The Mall, into and out of Buckingham Palace every morning from April to July, then occasionally through the remainder of the year. They also provide public order support and are commonly called to police football matches in the event of any unrest. All officers are trained in public order tactics on horseback.[83]
  • Police Support Unit (PSU) – Trained to deal with a variety of public order situations outside the remit or capability of regular divisional officers.[84]
  • Territorial Support Group (TSG) – Highly trained officers, specialised in public order and large scale riots responding around London in marked Public Order Vehicles (POV) with 6 constables and a sergeant in each POV. They aim to: secure the capital against terrorism, respond to any disorder in London, and reduce priority crime through borough support. They respond in highly-protective uniform during riots or large disorder, protecting themselves from any thrown objects or hazards.[85]
  • Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF) – Formed in April 2018, the VCTF is a pan-London proactive response team to knife and serious violent crime, made up of 300 ring-fenced and dedicated police officers who solely focus on violent crime, weapon-enabled crime and serious criminality.[86]
  • Operation Venice – Formed in 2017 to deal with record-breaking moped crime in London, but also tackles different types of robbery trends; the Scorpion Team consists of highly skilled drivers and riders who were given a green light to instigate tactical contact against moped and motorbikes involved in criminality.[87]
A traditional blue lamp as seen outside most police stations.


In addition to the headquarters at New Scotland Yard, there are many police stations in London.[88] These range from large borough headquarters staffed around the clock every day to smaller stations, which may be open to the public only during normal business hours, or on certain days of the week. In 2017, there were 73 working front counters open to the public in London.[89]

Most police stations can easily be identified from one or more blue lamps located outside the entrance, which were introduced in 1861.

The oldest Metropolitan police station, which opened in Bow Street in 1881, closed in 1992 and the adjoining Bow Street Magistrates' Court heard its last case on 14 July 2006.[90] One of the oldest operational police station in London is in Wapping, which opened in 1908. It is the headquarters of the marine policing unit (formerly known as Thames Division), which is responsible for policing the River Thames. It also houses a mortuary and the River Police Museum.

Paddington Green Police Station, which is no longer operational, received much publicity for its housing of terrorism suspects in an underground complex prior to its closure in 2017.

In 2004, there was a call from the Institute for Public Policy Research for more imaginative planning of police stations to aid in improving relations between police forces and the wider community.[91]

The sculpture on the grave of Constable William Frederick Tyler, Abney Park Cemetery, London

Officers killed in the line of duty[edit]

The Police Roll of Honour Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty.


In 1970, the Mangrove Nine were a group of British black activists tried for violent clashes during a protest against the police targeting of The Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill. The nine were all acquitted of the most serious charges and the trial became the first judicial acknowledgement of racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police.[92]

Following the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993, William Macpherson headed a public inquiry (1998) that examined the handling of the original Metropolitan Police Service investigation into the murder. The inquiry concluded that the investigation was incompetent and that the force was institutionally racist.[93]

In 2005, police shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian man who had wrongly been identified as a perpetrator of the attempted terrorist bombings the day before.

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the Metropolitan police were found to be 2.17 times as likely to issue fines to black people for lockdown breaches, relative to the general population.[94][95]

The Met said: "In total, more white people received FPNs [fixed penalty notices] or were arrested than other individual ethnic groups. However, when compared with the composition of the resident population, higher proportions of those in black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups were issued with FPNs or arrested across London as a whole. The reasons for this are likely to be complex and reflect a range of factors. This includes interactions between the areas subject to significant proactive policing activity targeting crime hotspots and both the variation in the age profile and geographical distribution of ethnic groups in London."[94]

In 2021, the MPS have attracted media coverage for approaches to policing in high-profile cases such as the murder of Sarah Everard, the murders of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry and the handling of internal sexual assault allegations.[96] Women's rights groups have called for an enquiry into misogyny in the force.[97]

In March 2021, Wayne Couzens, a serving Metropolitan Police officer with the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection unit, was arrested and later charged with the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.[98] Couzens was later sentenced to life without the possibility of release.[99] There were renewed calls for high level resignations following public outcry over the Met's response to the Everard case.[100] In March 2022, two serving Met police constables and one ex-officer were charged with sharing offensive messages with Wayne Couzens.[101]

In April 2021 an early-career Metropolitan police officer, Ben Hannam, was found guilty of being a member of a banned neo-Nazi terrorist group.[102]

In December 2021, an inquest jury ruled that the deaths in 2014–2015 of serial killer Stephen Port's final three victims was due in part to the Met Police's failings. The inquest found that the Met "failed to carry out basic checks, send evidence to be forensically examined, and exercise professional curiosity while Port was embarking on his killing spree".[103]

At the beginning of February 2022, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) reported on the conduct of officers based in the main at Charing Cross police station. Their investigation found evidence of highly sexualized, violent and discriminatory messages sent as part of WhatsApp group involving 17 officers.[104] The regional director of the IOPC, Sal Naseem, said: "The behaviour we uncovered was disgraceful and fell well below the standards expected of the officers involved. While these officers predominantly worked in teams in Westminster, which have since been disbanded, we know from other recent cases that these issues are not isolated or historic."[105]

In March 2022 it was revealed that a 15-year old black girl, referred to as Child Q, was strip-searched by police in school without an adult present after wrongly being suspected of being in possession of Cannabis.[106] An independent safeguarding report concluded the incident was unjustified and racism was likely a factor. Child Q is now suing the Metropolitan Police and pursuing civil action against her school.[107] The two police officers who carried out the strip search have been removed from front line duties.[108] Two years before the Child Q incident there were complaints that many strip searches of children were unjustified. In 2019 it was found that strip searches were disproportionately done to black and ethnic minority suspects. Inspectors found the number, “higher than we normally see”, and involved, “many children and a significantly higher proportion of black and minority ethnic detainees”.[109] Metropolitan Police have strip searched 5,279 children during the three years up to 2022 and 75% (3,939) were from ethnically diverse backgrounds according to the LBC. Sixteen children strip searched were between ten and twelve years old. Statistics only cover children strip searched following arrest and the actual figures are likely to be higher.[110] On 24 June 2022, Metropolitan police referred itself to the IOPC for investigation of 8 strip-searches of youngsters under 18. Reforms will be introduced including that an inspector will have to approve a strip-search of a child, an appropriate adult will have to be present and there will have to be a report. The Met stated “We have reviewed the policy for ‘further searches’ for those aged under 18 and made changes. This is to assure ourselves the policy is appropriate {...} and that it recognises the fact a child in these circumstances may well be a vulnerable victim of exploitation by others involved in gangs, county lines and drug dealing.”[111] Between 2018 and 2020 there were 650 strip-searches of children, 23% were without an appropriate adult. 58% of boys searched were black. Rachel de Souza said "I am not reassured that what happened to Child Q was an isolated issue, but instead believe it may be a particularly concerning example of a more systemic problem around child protection within the Metropolitan Police. I remain unconvinced that the Metropolitan Police is consistently considering children's welfare and wellbeing."[112] The majority of children strip-searched were innocent. De Souza said “This low level of successful searches arguably indicates that this intrusive practice may well not be justified or necessary in all cases.” (95%) of youngsters strip-searched were boys, and a quarter were under 16. De Souza said “I am also extremely concerned by the ethnic disproportionality shown in these figures, particularly given that ethnicity was determined to be such a key factor in the Child Q case. I am not reassured that what happened to Child Q was an isolated issue, but instead believe it may be a particularly concerning example of a more systemic problem around child protection within the Metropolitan police. I remain unconvinced that the Metropolitan police is consistently considering children’s welfare and wellbeing.”[113]

In June 2022 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said that there was evidence of "systemic sexism, racism, homophobia, discrimination, misogyny" in the Met; he accepted that there are "dedicated, decent, brave officers" as well. Khan said he felt that the new Police Commissioner would need to restore confidence in London police. Khan accepted that London crime figures are going down.[114] The Met has been put into special measures by H M Inspectorate of Constabulary. The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said the Met was not getting "the basics right. (...) The process to recruit a new commissioner is well under way and I have made clear that the successful candidate must demonstrate sustained improvements in the Met Police in order to regain public trust both in London and across the country. The new commissioner will need to deliver on the public's priorities for the police - making our streets safer, bearing down on crime and bringing more criminals to justice, while continuing to recruit thousands of new officers to protect local communities."[115] The Inspectorate has "systemic concerns" over the Met, including its inadequate response to emergency calls, "barely adequate" recording of crime and child abuse referrals developing a backlog. A letter from the watchdog to the Met said failures worsened due to the young and inexperienced recruits brought in as an element of the national move to replace thousands of experienced officers cut as part of austerity measures. Matt Parr of the Inspectorate wrote to Sir Stephen House that the inspectors had had "substantial and persistent concerns" about the Met "for a considerable time". The concerns included the Met’s approach to tackling corruption which the letter said was "fundamentally flawed" and "not fit for purpose".[116]

In August 2022, the Met started legal proceedings against Parm Sandhu, a former senior officer who has published a book including allegations of 'racial and gender discrimination' against her by the Met. The Met’s claim is that Sandhu has breached a non-disclosure agreement which was part of a settlement agreement between Sandhu and the Met.[117]

In September 2022, there were protests over the death of Chris Kaba, who was shot and killed by a Metropolitan Police officer in south London.[118] The police officer involved was shortly afterwards suspended pending the outcome of the investigation by the IOPC. Two police cars had chased and stopped his vehicle late at night on 5 September, following a suspected armed incident the previous day involving the vehicle Kaba was driving.[119] The family also privately met with Scotland Yard’s new Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, for 25 minutes after viewing the footage.[120] On 30 March 2023, the IOPC announced that they had referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service. [121]

On 17 January 2023, David Carrick, a Met Police Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection officer, was dismissed from the Metropolitan Police after pleading guilty to 49 offences, including numerous cases of rape. He had been the subject of allegations of abuse of women over a period of twenty years.[122] The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, announced that there would be an internal review of the Met’s dismissal processes, and Mark Rowley said that the histories and records of all officers and staff would be rechecked to see whether any previous offending had been missed.[122]

In 2023, a report on the Metropolitan police found that the organization was rife with racism, misogyny, and homophobia, and was corrupt. A 363-page report written by Louise Casey, Baroness Casey of Blackstock was commissioned after the abduction of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, a police constable. The report stated that 12% of female Met employees had been harassed or attacked, with 33% experiencing sexism. Other incidents include a Muslim officer who had bacon stuffed into his boots and a Sikh officer whose beard was cut. The report also found that officers of minority ethnic background more likely to be disciplined and leave the force.[123]

See also[edit]

Other London emergency services:


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