More than 100 accused Met Police officers are still on duty

More than 100 accused Met Police officers are still on duty

More than 100 Met officers under investigation for suspected crimes including domestic abuse are working as normal, the Evening Standard can reveal.

Almost half of officers who have a case to answer for gross misconduct have also not been put on restricted duties. A Freedom of Information request revealed there were 143 police under investigation for domestic violence offences.

A total of 42 were still working as normal, while a dozen have been suspended, 79 were on restricted duties and 10 have left the force.

A further 284 officers were subject to investigations for other crimes, 67 of whom were serving without any restrictions.

The revelations of more than 400 officers under investigation prompted fresh demands for the new Met Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, to sort the force’s “failed” misconduct system.

Unmesh Desai, Labour’s London Assembly policing and crime spokesman, said “at the very least” those facing serious allegations of domestic or sexual abuse should be considered for desk duty.

He told the Standard: “A toxic culture has been allowed to fester and has seeped into the force’s structure, overshadowing the hard work of most Met officers. The misconduct system has failed both officers and Londoners. Decisive action is needed to rebuild the trust lost to a series of sickening scandals.”

He called for the “high number of cases already under investigation” to be resolved quickly.

Sir Mark recently admitted that the scale of misconduct by officers uncovered in a damning report last month by Baroness Casey into failing internal disciplinary processes was “appalling”.

The Met chief vowed that “ruthless” tactics would be used to fire racists, misogynists and sex offenders who have been allowed to stay in the force. New measures include surveillance and sting operations against officers.

On when working restrictions are imposed on officers under investigation, a Met spokesman said: “The purpose of imposing restrictions is to protect the Met, the public, colleagues and the integrity of an investigation.

“No one case is the same; each will be judged on its own merit. Restrictions must be both reasonable and relevant to the allegations under investigation.

“Circumstances where restrictions are imposed include where the officer’s suitability to continue in their current role is questioned and/or serious concerns are raised which require management actions.” A separate report today warned that hundreds, if not thousands, of corrupt officers may be serving in England and Wales police forces.

Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr condemned poor police vetting standards. He stressed that the chances of someone like Sarah Everard’s murderer Wayne Couzens getting a job as a police officer would have been “clearly reduced” if measures to improve screening checks had been put in place earlier.

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services looked at eight forces, including the Met, reviewing hundreds of police vetting files for recent recruits.

It said it uncovered too many cases where people, including those with criminal records or links to organised crime, should not have been allowed to join the police and that it was “too easy” for them to do so.

The inspection, commissioned in October last year by then home secretary Priti Patel in the wake of Ms Everard’s murder, concluded that a culture of misogyny, sexism and predatory behaviour towards female police officers, staff and members of the public still exists in many forces.

Mr Parr said this culture was prevalent in “all the forces we inspected”, which he branded a “depressing finding”.

As well as forces linked to Couzens — the Metropolitan Police, Kent Police and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary — the inspection scrutinised practices at Cumbria, South Wales, Nottinghamshire, Dorset and Devon and Cornwall forces.

Marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, was abducted by serving police officer Couzens in Poynders Road near Clapham Common, on March 3, 2021.

The data obtained on September 13 by the Standard under FOI laws revealed that of the 143 officers with a case to answer for gross misconduct, 69 have not been put on desk duties.

In her recent report, Baroness Casey concluded that an “anything goes” culture had allowed officers responsible for “truly awful” criminal behaviour to keep their jobs with some staying in post despite multiple cases against them.

The report, commissioned in response to the kidnap and murder of Ms Everard, found white officers were treated less harshly than black or Asian officers in disciplinary matters and cases take too long to conclude.

Sir Mark is pushing for new powers to allow force bosses to reopen misconduct cases against officers and staff.

Ruth Davison, chief executive of domestic violence charity Refuge, said: “The new Commissioner has said he will be ‘ruthless in rooting out misogynists’ from the police. But the time for strong words is over.

“We desperately need widespread radical culture change and root and branch reform needs to start now, women’s lives depend on it.”

A spokesman for London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The Mayor welcomes the HMICFRS inspection and scrutiny of vetting, misconduct, and misogyny in police services across the country.

“It is clearer than ever that change and reform are long overdue. Much more must be done to detect and deal with misogynistic and predatory behaviour in all police forces to keep the public safe and restore public confidence – which is so vital to policing by consent.

“As Mayor, Sadiq has taken decisive action to ensure that in London, the Met is now set on a path of far-reaching systematic and cultural reform.

“Sir Mark Rowley understands the scale of the challenge ahead and shares the Mayor’s calls for urgent action and radical improvements - both to raise standards and restore public confidence and trust in the police. Some of that work has already begun.

“The Mayor is committed to doing everything in his power to support Sir Mark to deliver the step-change in culture, systems, standards and performance that’s so desperately needed to rebuild public confidence, root out all officers and staff who bring the Met into disrepute and build a safer London for everyone.”