Priti Patel gives Met chief 100 days to prove he can restore trust after 'awful mistakes' of past
THE new commissioner of the Met Police has been given 100 days to prove he has what it takes to cut crime levels, improve standards and restore trust in the beleaguered force. Britain's biggest force has been dogged by a series of scandals that led to the controversial resignation of Dame Cressida Dick as commissioner in February after London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he lost confidence in her ability to stem the tide. In a letter from Home Secretary Priti Patel sent on Friday (Sep2) she told Ms Dick's replacement Sir Mark Rowley (above) she expects improvements to be made "immediately" to ensure the Met learns from its "appalling" mistakes of the past. Made public by the Home Office last night, the letter said: "I am writing to you as you begin undertaking the pivotal role of Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and deliver your plan for your first 100 days to 'renew policing by consent - more trust, less crime, high standards'. "It is absolutely vital that trust and confidence is restored and that visible, responsive policing which cuts crime is at the forefront. "Several recent high-profile incidents have affected public trust and confidence, raising serious questions about the culture and standards in the MPS. "These include Sarah Everard’s murder, strip searches of children, the vetting of police officers." She also flagged up racist and misogynistic messages sent by officers at Charing Cross police station, failings in investigations into serial killer Stephen Port and the findings of a culture of "institutional corruption" found by the inquiry into the unsolved axe murder of private detective Daniel Morgan in 1987. She added: "Londoners need to be assured that improvements are being made immediately and will have an impact. I expect the MPS, under your leadership, clearly to demonstrate that it will learn from the appalling mistakes of the past and move the culture away from the organisational defensiveness that has hindered progress and damaged public trust. "Reducing crime is the central mission of policing and I am pleased to see that good progress is being made in some areas.
"But there remain areas where further progress is needed. While recorded crime remains below the pre-pandemic levels, it has been rising over the last year and I am very concerned that violent crime levels are now above pre-pandemic levels." The Sunday Express can reveal that the murder rate in London rose sharply over the summer with 24 homicides in just nine weeks. There were 46 homicides in the capital from January 1 to June 25, and then 24 in the following nine weeks. Commander Rachel Williams, Violence lead for the Met, said: “It is shocking that several homicides have taken place in such quick succession and my thoughts are with the victims and their families. “We are devoting huge resources into preventing these awful crimes from happening, including bespoke operations in the areas with the highest levels of violence. She also said there had been 90 homicides by the same time last year. The letter was sent the same day a report by the former chief inspector of Constabulary, Sir Tom Winsor, into the circumstances surrounding Ms Dick's resignation was published. Sir Tim concluded Dame Cressida "felt intimidated" into stepping down after an ultimatum from Mr Khan, who did not follow "due process" when he withdrew his support. Mr Khan has defended his actions. The letter reveals Sir Mark will be under immediate pressure as Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary is due to publish a report on its most recent inspection of the Met and he will attend a Policing Performance Oversight Group meeting on September 19 to discuss his plans. Mrs Patel also warned that the Met was behind in meeting its target of recruiting 4,557 additional officers by next March as part of a drive to boost numbers nationally by 20,000.