Met Police placed in special measures by policing watchdog after series of failures

New Scotland Yard sign outside the Metropolitan Police headquarters in London
New Scotland Yard sign outside the Metropolitan Police headquarters in London

The Metropolitan Police has tonight been placed in special measures by the policing watchdog

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Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary confirmed "we are now monitoring the Metropolitan Police Service through our Engage process, which provides additional scrutiny and support to help it make improvements".

The news comes as the Home Secretary has yet to appoint a new Commissioner to run the UK's biggest police force after Dame Cressida Dick's resignation in February.

The Inspectorate of Constabulary has not yet revealed exactly why the Met has been placed in a category providing additional scrutiny and support.

But it follows a raft of recent scandals which have severely damaged Scotland Yard's reputation.

Last week, the Independent Office for Police Complaints confirmed it was re-opening an investigation into the Met's handling of inquiries into the serial killer Stephen Port who murdered four young men in East London.

It followed the findings of an inquest which found failings by officers during the initial investigation into the first murder which "contributed" to the deaths of the three other victims.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The public put their trust in the police and rightly expect the country’s largest force to protect them effectively and carry out their duties to the highest professional standards.

"As Home Secretary, I have overseen the largest funding boost for policing in a decade, and the Government has committed to an extra 20,000 police officers, with 2,599 already recruited by the Metropolitan Police.

“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 – and I expect the Met and the London Mayor to take immediate action to begin addressing them.

“The process to recruit a new Commissioner is well underway and I have made clear that the successful candidate must demonstrate sustained improvements in the Metropolitan Police Service 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.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has welcomed the decision.

He said in a statement: “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.

“The decision by the HMIC 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 Met statement reads: "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."