HMICFRS places MPS under special measures
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has been placed under special measures following a series of failures.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said the MPS is being closely scrutinised having faced extensive criticism following the death of Sarah Everard, who was abducted and murdered by serving officer Wayne Couzens, and the Charing Cross police station scandal.
Home Secretary Priti Patel welcomed the move, saying: “I expect the police to get the basics right. It is clear the Metropolitan Police Service is falling short of these expectations which is why I support the action that HMICFRS has taken today to highlight their failings…”
A spokeswoman for the HMICFRS said: “We can confirm that we are now monitoring the Metropolitan Police Service through our Engage process, which provides additional scrutiny and support to help it make improvements.”
According to the HMICFRS website, a force enters the engage process if it is “not responding to a cause of concern, or if it is not succeeding in managing, mitigating or eradicating the cause of concern”.
It adds: “In the Engage phase, forces will develop an improvement plan to address the specific cause(s) of concern that has caused them to be placed in the advanced phase of the monitoring process. The force may receive support from external organisations such as the College of Policing or the National Police Chiefs’ Council, brokered by HMICFRS.”
The move has come at a turbulent time for the force after Dame Cressida Dick stepped down from her role as commissioner in April. Her replacement is expected to be unveiled in the summer, with Sir Stephen House currently running the force as acting commissioner.
It is also the second force to be placed on special measures in recent years. HMICFRS placed Greater Manchester Police on the “engage” process in 2020 after it failed to report 80,000 crimes.
London mayor Sadiq Khan – who previously withdrew his support for Dame Cressida after urging for improvements to be made – also welcomed the decision.
“A series of appalling scandals have not only exposed deep cultural problems but have damaged the confidence of Londoners in the capital’s police service,” he said in a statement. “The decision by HMICFRS to now move the Met into special measures has laid bare the substantial performance failings by the force.
“As I have been saying for some time, Londoners deserve better. That’s why we now need to see nothing less than a new contract forged between the police and the public in London. This means root and branch reforms and systemic change to the Met’s performance and culture.”
A spokesman for the MPS said: “We recognise the cumulative impact of events and problems that the Met is dealing with. We understand the impact this has had on communities and we share their disappointment. We are determined to be a police service Londoners can be proud of. We are talking to the Inspectorate about next steps.”
In a statement, the Metropolitan Black Police Association (MetBPA) said: “After an unacceptable series of high-profile incidents and police responses that have failed to build trust and confidence across London’s communities, the MetBPA fully accepts the mayor’s statement, and welcomes the HMICFRS’s enhanced ‘Engage’ process. Placing the Met into these special measures is also supported by the Home Secretary.
“Significant changes are long overdue as a pre-requisite to deliver professional and fair policing.
“We remain committed to working in collaboration with all stakeholders and London’s communities as the Met undergoes the necessary changes.”