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A report on the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) says the force sometimes behaves in a way that makes it appear “arrogant, secretive and lethargic”. The report’s foreword described the findings as painting a “depressing picture”.
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Alleged Met police corruption
Last year, a report was published regarding the actions of the Metropolitan Police Service during the Daniel Morgan murder. Mr Morgan was a private investigator who was murdered in Sydenham in 1987. No one was ever convicted for the crime. It has long been suspected that police corruption may have played a part, either in his murder or a cover-up. The report confirmed that some aspects of the police’s approach during that time amounted to “institutional corruption”.
The Home Secretary then commissioned an inspection of the Metropolitan Police Service. The purpose of the report was not to reinvestigate the murder itself, but rather to assess the MPS’ understanding of, and response to, police corruption. The report was recently published, and it makes for worrying reading.
Causes of concern
Five areas of concern were highlighted in the report. The arrangements for managing exhibits and other property were found to be substandard. Questions were raised over the current professional standards operating model within the MPS. The report also found that there is a lack of proactive work to gather counter-corruption intelligence. Officers may not be declaring their associations, business interests, gifts and hospitality due to a lack of monitoring. Lastly, there is not enough effort on the part of the MPS to establish relationships between the directorate of professional standards and organisations supporting vulnerable people.
A further two areas of improvement were identified in the report. Firstly, a more consistent approach should be taken towards counter-corruption training. Secondly, the annual professional development review checklist should be completed for all officers and staff.
The report went on to make 20 recommendations for improving the MPS’ stance on corruption. These must be implemented by 31 March 2023. For example, the MPS must determine the vetting status of personnel in designated posts. Police officers and staff are required to report any changes in personal circumstances. The force should also review and update its gifts, hospitality, and associated policies.
A further report will likely be commissioned next year to check on the Met’s progress.