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New commissioner must accept “extent of Met's cultural problems”

Sadiq Khan has said he will not support a new commissioner unless they acknowledge the cultural and organisational problems present within the Met.

Sadiq Khan has called for the leadership within the Met to “publicly acknowledge the scale and depth of the problems [within the force]."

Describing it as “something which will be a crucial step for the next commissioner to start rebuilding the trust and confidence of communities`," he said he would make no apology for demanding this, adding it’s not about being political but “democracy in action”. 

“I won’t support the appointment of a new commissioner unless they demonstrate they understand the true extent of the cultural and organisational problems within the Met,” he said today. 

“[Unless] they appreciate the moral and operational imperatives to confront them head on and [unless] they have a convincing plan to reduce crime, further improve detection rates and bring more criminals to justice.” 

During the speech given at City Hall, he said that London needs a reforming commissioner, someone “in the mould of” Sir Robert Mark who was appointed in 1972 and took a heavy stance on stamping out corruption. 

Khan continued: “[The Met] also needs someone who acknowledges they will never be able to solve all the problems alone.

“This means the type of leadership that understands and accepts that the Met needs to improve and is ready and confident enough to bring in outside expertise and oversight to ensure we get the organisational change from top to bottom that is required. 

“The next commissioner must ‘get it’.” 

To date, there has been a reluctance from senior leadership within the Met to acknowledge the words “institutional racism”. 

The Race Action Plan launched last month for consultation “accepts” that racism is present, but did not go so far as to use the term “institutional racism”. 

More recently, DCC Tyron Joyce, the programme lead for the Race Action Plan, told Police Oracle that he did not want this to turn into an argument over two words, distracting from the larger issues and developing a way forward. 

Mayor Khan today, however, appears to be putting more pressure on leadership to publicly speak about the extent of the issues. 

To tackle those problems, he has also called for a range of measures including better recruitment processes, faster misconduct processes and strengthened IT monitoring to identify corrupt officers. 

“I fundamentally believe in the Met and I’m proud to be London’s PCC,” he said. 

“People who say that when we come down hard on police officers who behave badly we’re somehow reducing confidence in the police are totally wrong, it’s the opposite and it sells our officers short. 

“I know with the right leadership at the top of the Met, they’re the ones who can do what’s needed to win back public trust.” 

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