13 April 2022

Job advert for Britain’s most senior police officer goes live

13 April 2022

The job advert for the most senior police officer in Britain has gone live, with the successful candidate tasked with addressing “serious failings” within the Metropolitan Police.

Public confidence in the force has been damaged by a series of events including the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer and the publication of highly offensive messages exchanged by officers based at Charing Cross.

Two constables were also jailed for sharing images of the bodies of murder victims Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry on WhatsApp.

Previous commissioner Dame Cressida Dick left the job last week, with her deputy Sir Stephen House temporarily taking charge until a permanent successor is appointed in the summer.

Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, whose final day in the job was April 10. (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Potential candidates for the post include former director general of the National Crime Agency Dame Lynne Owens and current Met Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes.

With an annual salary of just under £293,000, the appointment is for an initial five-year term.

The closing date for applications is May 4.

The advert states: “It has become evident that significant and sustained improvements need to be made within the MPS to restore public confidence and legitimacy in the largest police force in the UK.

“This will require inspirational leadership to deliver a demonstrably more professional police force, that better reflects the diversity of London itself.”

The Met has been heavily criticised by watchdogs the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in recent months.

People gathered in Parliament Square, London remember Sarah Everard (PA) (PA Archive)

HMICFRS found that the Met’s approach to tackling corruption was not fit for purpose, and described storage of evidence by some teams as “dire” with drugs, jewellery and money going missing and guns not properly secured.

While the IOPC took the unusual step of publishing disturbing messages shared by the Charing Cross team – despite the fact that much of the content was too offensive to print in mainstream news coverage – as it detailed the “disgraceful” behaviour of officers based in a now disbanded Westminster team between 2016 and 2018.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said that the issues raised were “not isolated or historic”.

Two inquiries, set up in the wake of the murder of Miss Everard, are being held into culture at the Met – an internally-commissioned probe led by Baroness Louise Casey, and a Home Office commissioned inquiry by Dame Elish Angiolini.

The advert for the commissioner job says: “You will lead the service through significant change, role-modelling credible, visible and empowering leadership to address concerns around police conduct and tackling institutional culture.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan are responsible for choosing the next Commissioner (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)

“The successful candidate will be responsible for re-establishing trust and confidence in policing amongst everyone living in London, particularly women and girls and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

“Maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism of the police officers who serve Londoners, you will be responsible for addressing the serious failings that have emerged from recent IOPC and HMICFRS reports, and the outcomes of ongoing inquiries led by Dame Elish Angiolini QC and Baroness Louise Casey.

“You will need to show your understanding of the scale and urgency of these particular challenges in the MPS, and that you have an achievable plan to restore the trust and confidence of Londoners.”

It stresses that the new commissioner will be expected to work to reduce and prevent crime in the capital, as well as taking on the national responsibility of the force for counter-terrorism policing.

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