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Met's new Commissioner starts briefings - and a search for new top team

Sir Mark Rowley has started briefing politicians on his plans - and is reshuffling the top team after a series of resignations.

Sir Mark Rowley has held his first stakeholder meetings ahead of his start as the Metropolitan Police’s new Commissioner.

The successor to Dame Cressida Dick has set out how he plans to improve the force to London’s Mayor and the Home Secretary - including a schedule for his first 100 days in charge.

And his in-tray now includes a search for a new senior team after a series of retirements were announced by the force.

Ahead of his start on 12 September, Sir Mark has already been in regular contact with Mayor Sadiq Khan, whose falling out with predecessor Dame Cressida Dick resulted in her departure.

But since then, the force has been placed in the Engage process by HM Inspectorate.

He will be returning to the force after a fresh row over BAME searches by officers and Mr Khan has told him improving community relations must be the top priority.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London, told Police Oracle: “From the outset, the Mayor has been clear with the incoming Commissioner about the scale of change that’s needed in the Met to rebuild trust with Londoners.”

Sir Mark is also understood to have met with Home Secretary Priti Patel who impressed the importance of restoring integrity in policing and policing by consent.

She also made clear the government wants the Met to drastically improve professional standards and set a culture where poor behaviour will not be accepted any longer.

The Home Secretary pressed for him to focus on neighbourhood policing.

But Sir Mark knows that HM Inspectors will want the force to tackle the host of issues raised by HMI including vetting and crime recording.

The Cambridge mathematician knows the Met has budget pressures on the horizon and needs to retain experienced officers.

He is understood to be well aware that as well as balancing political demands, he must rebuild internal morale after years of tough headlines.

Rated by frontline officers, the former AC for Special Operations has led the response to key incidents - including the case of firearms officer W80 - and developed how the force tackled gangs and counter terrorism.

The Fed is ready to work with him.

Police Federation Chair Steve Hartshorn said: “Sir Mark Rowley takes charge at a crucial time for policing and, together with my colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Federation, I look forward to working with him.”

The message to the Mayor from Sir Mark is that the challenges will not be resolved in a matter of weeks but he has a plan to revitalise the force.

Mr Khan spokesman said: “Sir Mark has made clear to the Mayor that he is committed to implementing a comprehensive plan to win back public trust and confidence in the police.

"A top priority is winning back the trust and confidence of all of London’s communities – particularly from London’s Black communities and women and girls – so that every Londoner feels protected and served.

He added: “The Mayor looks forward to working closely with Sir Mark to restore trust and confidence in the police, ensure that the Met gets the basics of policing right, and build on the significant success we have made in driving down violence and crime in our city.”

Sir Mark will also have to change his top team after three changes were announced by the force.

Acting Commissioner Sir Steve House has announced he will step down next month.

He will lead a review of operational productivity in policing overseen by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

Sir Steve will remain in post until Sir Mark Rowley begins his tenure as Commissioner on Monday 12 September.

Incoming Commissioner Sir Mark said: "Sir Steve should be extremely proud of his record as a police leader. His influence has left an enduring mark on policing not just in London but far beyond.

"I am grateful for his stewardship of the Met over the recent turbulent months and know his priority has always been the safety of Londoners."

In addition, two other chief officers will leave their current posts over the coming weeks.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Helen Ball has announced she will retire from policing after 35 years on 31 October.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave will undertake a secondment to the National Police Chiefs' Council where he will lead the criminal justice portfolio.

Sir Mark added: "Both Helen and Nick are formidable leaders of the utmost integrity who have dedicated their careers to public service.

"I wish Helen all the very best in her retirement and am delighted that Nick will bring his wealth of experience from more than three decades of policing to this important work on delivering better outcomes for victims of crime," he said.

"I am grateful to be given the opportunity to build a fresh leadership team to take the Met forward."

 

 

 

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