Humiliation for Scotland Yard: catalog of shocking failures puts Met under special measures
Scotland Yard was placed under special measures yesterday after a devastating inspection revealed a catalog of new failures.
Officers from Britain’s largest police force failed to record tens of thousands of crimes, ignored nearly all victims of anti-social behaviour, failed vulnerable victims and overlooked a huge backlog of online abuse referrals of children.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Police and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) announced that the “systemic concerns” about the performance of the force raised by a new inspection had been so serious that the force had to be subjected to special measures.
This unprecedented step means the Metropolitan Police will face external scrutiny and will have to come up with a plan for improvement.
The Inspectorate of Her Majesty’s Constabulary and Her Majesty’s Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) announced that the “systemic concerns” about the performance of the force raised by a new inspection had been so serious that the force had to make the object of special measures. Pictured: Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick
The damning indictment comes after Commissioner Cressida Dick was forced to resign in February following a torrid year of scandals that saw the murder of Sarah Everard by one of her officers, with the force branded as ‘corrupt institutionally” by an independent investigation and two officers jailed for photographing the bodies of murder victims.
Yesterday, a leaked letter from the police inspectorate revealed that force was failing victims at all levels. The new annual inspection revealed:
About 69,000 crimes go unrecorded each year and almost no crimes are recorded for antisocial behavior.
- The handling of 999 calls is below national standards.
- Oversight and monitoring of some investigations are insufficient.
- Officers do not correctly record the reason for a stop and search in a quarter of cases.
- The force does not have sufficient capacity to meet the demand for public protection.
- There is a ‘still large backlog’ of online child abuse referrals.
Last night a war of words erupted when Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan clashed over who was responsible for the fiasco.
In a leaked letter to Acting Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Stephen House, Her Majesty’s Inspector Matt Parr warned that the succession of scandals and ‘systemic concerns’ about the force’s performance are ‘likely to have a chilling effect on public confidence in the Met”.
Sarah Everard was abducted, raped and murdered by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens
In June 2020 sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were stabbed to death and officers Deniz Jaffer, 47, and Jamie Lewis, 33, took pictures at the scene at Wembley.
In the new inspection, which has yet to be made public in full, Mr Parr condemned the force’s performance in handling 999 and non-emergency calls, saying it “falls well below national standards “, with staff not assessing vulnerability, identifying repeat victims and not offering advice on preserving evidence to catch offenders.
He lambasted the force for ignoring crimes, saying it had “a barely adequate level of accuracy in recording crimes, with around 69,000 unrecorded crimes each year, less than half of the crimes recorded in 24 hours and almost no crime recorded when victims report antisocial behavior against them”.
Mr Parr said victims were not told when officers were dropping their cases, they were not given the proper support and officers did not seek their input before finalizing crime reports.
He went on to criticize “the lack of detailed understanding of capacity and capability in all aspects of policing”, saying the Metropolitan Police had “an insufficiently comprehensive understanding of the demand”.
The scandals that shook the strength of the capital
In 2014, the notorious investigation was sanctioned by Dame Cressida Dick, then a high-ranking officer at Scotland Yard.
The disastrous investigation into false VIP child sex abuse allegations has seen innocent men including the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor forcibly prosecuted.
Several men died, with tarnished reputations, before the claims were refuted.
MURDERS OF NICOLE SMALLMAN AND BIBAA HENRY
In June 2020, two officers were tasked with guarding a crime scene where sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were stabbed to death.
Officers Deniz Jaffer, 47, and Jamie Lewis, 33, took photos at the scene at Wembley and then shared them in two WhatsApp groups. They were each jailed for two years and nine months last December.
MURDER OF SARAH EVERARD
In March last year, 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard was abducted, raped and murdered by serving officer Wayne Couzens. Force officers were accused of ‘abusing’ women at a Clapham Common vigil held ten days after he disappeared.
DANIEL MORGAN INVESTIGATION
In June last year, a report into the unsolved 1987 murder of private detective Daniel Morgan accused the Metropolitan Police of ‘institutional corruption’.
STEPHEN HARBOR SURVEY
An inquest jury ruled in December that failures by Yard detectives contributed to the deaths of the last three victims of a serial killer. Stephen Port killed four men in their twenties by giving them overdoses of the date rape drug GHB at his east London home in 2014 and 2015. Inquest found police failed to carry out basic checks . A lawyer for the families said the Met’s actions were partly motivated by homophobia. The Independent Office for Police Conduct should review the police handling of the case.
CHARING CROSS SCANDAL
In February, the IOPC exposed the behavior of officers based at Charing Cross police station, who allegedly joked about rape, killed black children and beat their wives.
Five officers are facing a gross misconduct hearing following their arrest and search of Team GB sprinter Bianca Williams in 2020. She and her partner were arrested in west London. Nothing illegal was found and the couple, who are black, claim to have been racially profiled.
Last week, Scotland Yard revealed that eight referrals for strip searches of children had been made to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) after two teenage girls were strip searched by officers while they were had their period.
Mr Parr also pointed to the investigation into four murders by serial killer Stephen Port, which he said was marred by “seemingly incomprehensible flaws”.
Mr Parr said Scotland Yard ‘has not always shown a great willingness’ to learn from its mistakes, echoing a report from March when it warned that the ‘arrogant, covert and lethargic’ force was failing not to fight corruption. The Metropolitan Police are now just one of the few forces to have been subject to special measures, which the inspection calls an “engagement phase”.
The move sparked a row between Miss Patel and Mr Khan. In a statement, the Home Secretary said: “I support the action the HMICFRS have taken today to highlight their failures – and I expect the Met and the Mayor of London to take action. to begin to address it.”
The damning indictment comes after Commissioner Cressida Dick was forced to resign in February following a torrid year of scandals that saw the murder of Sarah Everard by one of her officers, with the force branded as ‘corrupt institutionally” by an independent investigation and two officers jailed for photographing the bodies of murder victims. Pictured L-R: Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Nick Bramall, Alastair Morgan, Harvey Proctor, Michael Mcmanus, Paul Gambaccini and Lady Diana Brittan
But Mr Khan hit back, pointing out that he had been the one to kick Lady Cressida out. A source close to the mayor said: ‘He will take no policing lessons from the Home Secretary, who was clearly happy with the status quo and did not want any action taken.’
Sir Stephen has been called to a meeting next month to discuss an action plan ahead of the appointment of a new commissioner.
A Met spokesman said: “We are determined to be a police service that Londoners can be proud of. We are discussing the next steps with the Inspectorate.