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Timing of Op Hotton report designed to unseat Commissioner Fed claims

IOPC 'totally rejects' suggestion that the timing of the publication of a report into the behaviour of a group of Met officers was politically motivated.

The Chair of the Metropolitan Police Foundation has said that continuing to talk about incidents like Operation Hotton when the police have accepted the findings is damaging for public confidence. 

“I don’t think it helps that we keep drilling into the same things," Mr Marsh told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee referring to recent comments about the Met by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. 

“We accept fully what the Mayor has said previously in relation to how horrific these incidents were. 

“Everything has been taken on board, there have been massive changes within the MPS. We are playing catch up with some of it and that is the failing of the MPS and they have understood that and are moving forward to get everything as it should be in terms of vetting [but] we can’t keep going on and on about incidents that have taken place previously."

Mr Marsh criticised some of the diaogue from the Mayor in relation to these incidents. 

“The Mayor went on record numerous times and said these officers were allowed to go on and be promoted,” he told the committee. 

“That wasn’t the case, they were promoted prior to the investigation being carried out and completed, which quite rightly a police officer is allowed to do that under regulations. 

“To stand and publicly say 'and they were allowed to go on' gives a perception that you’ve been found guilty of these horrific things and you’re allowed to go on and that was not the case at all.” 

The Op Hotton report was published earlier this year, with the London Regional Director of the IOPC, Sal Naseem, rejecting comments that it took four years to complete.  He said the report at the start of this year was a summary of learning recommendations which was only able to be completed once the proceedings were finished, and that it took two years. 

The Met Federation's Professional Standards Lead, Matthew Cane criticised the timing of the puiblication of the Operation Hotton report to the committee: “Reports like that have to be timely to be relevant," he said. 

“I take the cynical view that it was a political timing to release that report because we all know what the fallout of that report was - the resignation of one of the most respected commissioners in a very long time.”

This was rejected by Sal Naseem who said : "I would absolutely reject any sort of assertion there and I think it's really important to go on record to do so." 

There was further debate around the ‘bad apple’ phrase that hit the headlines when the report was published. 

Ken Marsh re-iterated that no one was saying that what happened was in anyway acceptable, “but we haven't seen anything laid down that tells us that there is widespread behaving in this way. 

“I think that feeds into the narrative for the public that we’re not correct and we’re not doing our jobs correctly.” 

Sal Naseem  explained that the reference in the report was due to the fact that they do see this behaviour in their investigations and that they are not isolated incidents, nor are they exclusive to the Met. 

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