OPINION - The Standard View: The Met has never been in such disarray – it must expel the abusers

 (Christian Adams)
(Christian Adams)

The four values set out by the Met Police are professionalism, integrity, courage and compassion. Today, however, it feels as if we could scarcely be further from those ideals.

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley admitted today that he cannot even promise women in London that the police officers they speak to are not sex offenders. This was no mere gaffe. Allegations of sexual and domestic abuse against more than 800 Met officers and staff are currently being reviewed in the wake of the Pc David Carrick scandal.

Carrick has admitted 49 criminal charges, including a series of rapes and sexual assaults, making him one of the UK’s worst sexual offenders. Yet he survived the Met’s vetting process for new officers despite already being investigated for his alleged behaviour towards an ex-girlfriend who had left him, and he passed his probation in the face of a second criminal probe in which he had been a suspect.

It is further evidence, were any needed, that the task of reforming Scotland Yard will take much more than changing the leadership. This is not about tarring all officers with the same brush. Thousands of brave women and men go out every day to make London safe. But something is not right.

From the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Pc Wayne Couzens to the independent report into Charing Cross police station, which uncovered a culture of misogyny, racism, homophobia and bullying, the Met has lurched from crisis to crisis. Dame Cressida Dick has gone but the issues that hounded her out continue.

There can be no progress and trust will never be regained unless this rotten culture is isolated, addressed and eradicated.

Our right to clean air

Once all Londoners have the right to breathe clean air, we will wonder how anyone ever convinced us to live without it. Until then, it will require political will and campaigning pressure to get us there. The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has further piled the pressure on the Government to accelerate its battle against toxic air, calling on ministers to act now and back Ella’s Law to make breathing clean air a human right.

Despite recognising that air pollution is “the largest environmental risk to public health”, the Government plans to postpone vital targets to tackle it by 10 years. This is not good enough. Ella’s Law — named for Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the nine-year-old girl from Lewisham who became the first person in Britain to have air pollution listed as a cause of death — would change this. We support it, and ministers must get on board too.

Wonder of Murray

The year is 2043. The surface temperature in Melbourne is close to that of Venus. And Andy Murray — replete with metal hips, knees and ankles — is suffering through another five-set, five-hour Grand Slam match.

And with today’s thriller win over Matteo Berrettini, we wouldn’t have Murray any other way. Injuries have blighted his progress for years, but they also make each win something to celebrate.