New Met Police chief urges change to make it easier to sack officers

Sir Mark Rowley - Image news.met.police

The new chief of the Met Police who has been tasked with pulling the force into shape, has urged changes that will make it easier to sack serving officers.

Speaking on Saturday, November 19 to The Times Sir Mark Rowley said greater powers to sack racist, sexist and failing officers are needed.

He added that one in 10 cannot do their jobs properly due to problems with health and performance, around 3,000 officers that are not fully employed. A further 500 are either suspended or on restricted duties whilst accusations of serious misconduct are investigated.

Criticising the bureaucratic environment in which police forces operate he said that it was making it difficult to dismiss officers who were falling short of expectations.

Sir Rowley said that the government need to make urgent changes if they want the police force to be effective and capable of meeting their targets.

Although he is understanding of the situation some officers find themselves in, he said that support would always be available for those suffering from mental health and other issues. But he said the Met “can’t deal with a workforce where such a big proportion are not properly deployable.”

Referring to the issues some officers have in working with the public or the required hours or shifts, he added:  “There does come a point that if you can’t be match fit to be a police officer, then it’s challenging for us in that it’s a large number of people we can’t properly deploy.”

He continued saying managers were being put off acting on officers who are “doing a bad job” by a six-stage process that generally takes more than a year.

Referring to the low number of officers performance managed out of the force, just six last year, he said: “We can’t as an organisation exist if we can’t deploy 10 or 20 percent of our people.”

Referring to some of the problems the police are experiencing he said that he had set a time limit on how long officers can spend waiting at health services for a patient to be handed over. He said on average 14 hours are spent each time officers take someone to the hospital.

He is now looking for a similar limit to be applied to cases where the individual needs to be handed over to social services.

“There’s lots of work that is health and social care work that others can do, and should be doing, that we’re doing instead,” he said. “It’s not that those other areas aren’t important, but they’re not police work.”

New Met Police chief and others across the country have been told by the home secretary that they need to be more effective, but according to Sir Rowley that will take changes from the government for that to happen.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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