‘Generational moment of reform for policing’, says Met chief

Speaking at the Police Superintendents’ Association conference yesterday on his first year anniversary as Commissioner of the Met, Sir Mark Rowley emphasised the need for more trust, less crime and higher standards.

Revealing that the Met receives over 13,000 contacts from the public everyday, he said that the public expect high standards from his officers but that public confidence has been ‘dented’. “We are reinventing how we deliver policing by consent in a digitised 21st century world,” he explained.

Building trust and fighting crime go together, he said. “We have slipped up and there are systemic failing in our integrity.” He talked about the foundations of policing in the capital had been damaged by austerity and that is was a painful journey to ‘lift up the stone.’

He said that it was, easy to focus on the hundreds who are the problem but not on the thousands who are not. Looking ahead to the change in the way that police respond to mental health calls and the implementation of the new policy developed by Humberside Police called Right care, right person, he said the Met needed help from others and commended the discussions he and his team have been having with the NHS. He talked about the blurred mission of the police and the need to, “Let the police, police.”

Responding to questions from the audience gathered in Stratford upon Avon, Sir Mark said that policing must ‘stay in its lane’ and not get drawn into political discussion; the need to operate without fire or favour was vital, he added.

Asked whether the Met was too big and should potentially be broken up as suggested by Dame Louse Casey in her recent report, Sir Mark responded that it would be ‘foolish’ to fragment what goes on in London. He referred to the recent operation to apprehend the prisoner who escaped from Wandsworth prison which involved close cooperation between national counter terrorism teams who are part of the Met.