Met Police braced for more ‘ghastly’ criminals amongst its ranks, says commissioner

Sir Mark Rowley at the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, where he said more 'painful truths' about serving officers could come to light - Yui Mok/PA
Sir Mark Rowley at the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, where he said more 'painful truths' about serving officers could come to light - Yui Mok/PA

Two or three Metropolitan Police officers appear in court charged with crimes every week - with Sir Mark Rowley warning that a clean-up of the force will unearth yet more “ghastly” cases.

Speaking at London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, the Metropolitan Police commissioner apologised for the failings that allowed serial rapist David Carrick to carry on serving as an officer.

“He shouldn’t have been a police officer and we have failed,” Sir Mark said of the Carrick case.

“We haven't applied the same sense of ruthlessness to guarding our own integrity that we routinely apply to confronting criminals and I am deeply sorry for that.

"I think we have failed as investigators where we should have been more intrusive and joined the dots on this repeated misogyny over decades.

“And as leaders, our mindset should have been more determined to spot and root out such a misogynist.”

But Sir Mark said rooting out corrupt officers will not happen overnight and that people should be prepared for “more painful stories” in the coming weeks and months.

He spoke after it emerged that Pc Hussain Chehab, a serving Metropolitan Police constable who worked as a safer schools officer, had pleaded guilty to child sex offences.

Sir Mark described it as another “ghastly case” adding: “It is another one of these cases that will trouble the people of London and I am sorry for that and we are going to keep coming back to cases like this as we surface them.”

The commissioner revealed that a new Metropolitan Police hotline to allow people to report concerns about serving officers is receiving “tens of calls” a week, a third of which relate to other forces.

But Sir Mark also revealed that most weeks, two or three officers appear in court charged with offences including dishonesty, violence against women and girls and domestic abuse.

'Painful truths' to be revealed

“There is a trickle of them and there are going to be more as we surface them,” he said.

“We must improve dramatically for London, but lifting the stone and revealing painful truths will not be resolved overnight and I mustn't pretend it will.

“We have to prepare for more painful stories and as we confront the issues that we face.”

The Metropolitan Police is currently undertaking a review of around 1,000 officers who were accused of sexual or domestic abuse crimes but were never prosecuted and are still serving.

Sir Mark said he hopes the initial phase of the review would be complete by the end of March.

“There will be people we need to have a fresh look at,” he said. “That might be about their vetting, it might be about reopening investigations. There are all sorts of actions we might take but the first thing to do is to systematically review. This is a significant piece of work.”