Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has criticised the police recruitment process, saying “a big proportion” of officers in his force are “not properly deployable” due to health and performance issues.
Sir Mark, who has been head of Britain’s biggest police force since September, said the bureaucracy surrounding the removal of officers is posing a “challenge” to his force.
Some 3,000 Met officers are not fully deployable due to concerns over mental or physical health or their performance, while a further 500 are suspended or on restricted duties because they have been accused of serious misconduct, according to The Times.
There are more than 34,000 officers currently serving in the Met.
In an interview with The Times, Sir Mark, 58, said he supports officers injured on duty and those suffering mental health problems, but criticised the recruitment system.
He said: “We can’t deal with a workforce where such a big proportion are not properly deployable.
“Many of these people, they can’t work shifts, or they can’t work many hours in a day, or they can only have limited contact with the public, maybe because of anxiety-related issues.
“There does come a point that, if you can’t be match fit to be a police officer, then it’s challenging for us in that it’s a large number of people we can’t properly deploy.”
This comes after a report by Baroness Louise Casey last month criticised the Met’s misconduct procedures and said that hundreds of the force’s officers should have been sacked.
The review also found the internal disciplinary system is racist and misogynist, and allegations of sexual misconduct or discrimination are less likely to result in a case to answer than other claims.