Boris Johnson tells Sadiq Khan to 'get a grip' after Met Police placed under special measures

Britain's largest police force has flawed corruption procedures, barely adequate crime recording and a backlog of child abuse cases, according to a damning report

Published

Boris Johnson has urged the London Mayor to get a “grip” on the Met after a watchdog uncovered its “systemic failures”.

According to the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) report, the force has flawed corruption procedures, “barely adequate” crime recording, and a backlog of child abuse cases.

It has also been rocked by a series of high-profile scandals, including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving police officer Wayne Couzens.

The Prime Minister has now urged Sadiq Khan to tackle the Met’s problems by setting targets and hiring the right candidate to lead it.

“City Hall has got to grip this thing,” Mr Johnson, who served as London Mayor from 2008 to 2016, said.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

“In the end, the Mayor of London, one of his jobs, one of his titles is he’s the Commissioner of the Police in London.

“And he should grip it. He has the responsibility. He hires the Police Chief."

He also told LBC: “City Hall has the budgets… The Mayor’s Office of Police and Crime, Mopac, sets the targets, sets the ambitions.”

The police watchdog found, among other failings, that around 69,000 crimes reported to the Met went unrecorded each year.

Almost no crimes were recorded when victims reported anti-social behaviour.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving to take part in TV interviews during the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau, in the Bavarian Alps, Germany
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving to take part in TV interviews during the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau, in the Bavarian Alps, Germany

Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said the issues were “amplified by the presence of a relatively young, inexperienced workforce – a consequence of the Metropolitan Police Service’s increased recruitment enabled by the police uplift programme”.

Mr Khan blamed the Government for the inexperience of officers and “leading us to where we are now”.

In an earlier interview with PA news agency, he said: “Londoners won’t be surprised at our Conservative ministers deflecting their responsibility after 12 years of massive cuts.

“We’ve lost 21,000 experienced officers around the country, many of them in London.

“Because of City Hall funding we’ve managed to replace many of them, but clearly with newer, inexperienced officers.”