OPINION - The Standard view: The Met wants to be the most trusted police service in the world – but dark clouds still hover

·3-min read
 (Christian Adams)
(Christian Adams)

In the wake of the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021 by serving police officer Wayne Couzens, the Metropolitan Police acknowledged that it needed to earn back the trust of Londoners.

“We know a precious bond has been broken and we are committed to rebuilding the trust and confidence of all Londoners,” it declares on its website.

Yet the Standard can reveal today that more than 170 serving Met officers are currently under investigation for alleged domestic abuse. This is in fact an increase since we last reported these figures in February.

Some 152 are subject to live criminal or misconduct proceedings and 21 officers have a case to answer for gross misconduct and are awaiting a hearing.

When people say the new commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, faces a monumental task in turning Scotland Yard around, this is precisely what they mean.

And these statistics, shocking as they are, do not exist in isolation. See the independent report into Charing Cross Station, which uncovered a culture of misogyny, racism, homophobia and bullying, or the bungled investigation into the four gay men killed by Stephen Port.

The Met rightly states that its ambition is to be the most trusted police service in the world. But the journey to that destination starts with rooting out people who should not be officers in the first place, raising standards and transforming a culture that has all too often allowed discrimination and harassment to fester.

Energy threat to NHS

A new danger threatens to further exacerbate the crisis facing our NHS — the cost of energy. A report published in the British Medical Journal warns that hospitals in England face an “eye-watering” rise in bills of more than 200 per cent, with some trusts facing demands of up to £2 million a month.

Great Ormond Street Hospital said it expects its combined gas and electricity bill to nearly double in the coming months, compared with the same time last year.

Vital public services such as hospitals and schools, as well as businesses, are especially vulnerable to sudden rises as they do not benefit from Ofgem’s price cap. Health chiefs warning that patient care could be compromised.

This makes intuitive sense. The more money that must be funnelled into keeping lights on and equipment running, the less that can be dedicated to clinical purposes, which could further impact already record waiting lists.

The new Prime Minister’s attention will understandably be focused on how to help households get through this winter. But our public services need support too.

New face of Battersea

The transformation is nearly complete. Battersea Power Station, which at its peak generated a fifth of London’s electricity, opens as a shopping and restaurant complex next month after a £9 billion, decade-long renovation.

The Grade II listed building has been restored and repurposed — while keeping much of its structure and soul — after it was decommissioned in 1983.

What better example of London’s heritage and our city’s inexhaustible capacity to renew and reinvent?