Mercy Muroki: If we can't trust the police who on Earth can we trust?

I'm concerned about what plummeting levels of trust in police will do for society.

Published Last updated

A pair of Met Police officers have each been jailed for 33 months for taking pictures with the dead bodies of two murdered sister at a crime scene.

Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis had been sent to guard the crime scene, but instead decided to take sickening pictures to share with 41 colleagues on WhatsApp bragging about being quote "sat next to two dead birds full of stab wounds".

As if this wasn't bad enough, PC Lewis then photoshopped his face onto the picture of the murdered sisters before sharing it.

The judge condemned the "appalling and inexplicable conduct" of the pair, saying they disregarded the victims' privacy for "a cheap thrill".

I mean, it's already bad enough that the police were so slow in responding to the sisters' disappearance, that it was left to the family to search for and discover their bodies – and bad enough that the two PCs sent to protect the scene were not even wearing protection.

The quality of our PCs has been massively called into question in recent times, and it has really hit the public's confidence.

I worry about this – if we can't even trust the very people we're supposed to rely on in times of crisis, the people who are supposed to come to our rescue when nobody else will, who on earth can we trust?

Figures show more than a quarter of UK forces have not properly vetted all personnel, and thousands of officers and staff are working without up-to-date vetting.

The police have a catalogue of recent failings which have been brought to light recently – and whilst sunshine is the best disinfectant as they say – I'm concerned about what plummeting levels of trust in police will do for society.

And (worse yet) which shadowey figures will be waiting in the wings ready to exploit the fact that police seem increasingly inept, and that people are reluctant to call on the police when things go wrong.

In October, for the first time since they started polling the public on the issue, MORE people were now unconfident in the police than were confident. The Met Police had the worst national approval ratings, with only a third of the British public trusting the force.

And fresh results published today from Britain's longest-running poll on trust in professions shows trust in the police has dropped for a second year in a row.

I used to have a huge amount of trust in the police in this country. I'm not sure how much trust I do have. Especially as a young woman.

Something desperately has to change.