18 July 2023

Met chief says it is ‘a little perverse’ that he cannot fire bad officers

18 July 2023

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has said that it is “a little perverse” that he cannot fire officers.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on Tuesday, Sir Mark said it was “weird” that he is unable to choose who works under him.

Previously, he has estimated that hundreds of officers in his force have been getting away with misconduct and even criminal behaviour – however, he has no way of removing them,

“Why are we pretty much the only organisation where the leaders aren’t able to decide whether people stay in the organisation or not?” he told the radio show.

“And of course, we are just as accountable as anybody else to employment tribunals, and all the other redresses that anybody would have.

“But you are robustly challenging me on the culture of the Met and our ability to build trust in communities. It seems a little perverse, doesn’t it, that I actually don’t get to decide who works here?

“That’s a bit weird. And I don’t think anybody else works in an organisation where that’s the case.”

It is not the first time that the commissioner has called for the power to fire officers.

He told podcast The News Agents in June that “it’s not as easy as it ought to be” to rid the force of bad police officers.

Sir Mark said: “So, something that most people would have no reason to know is that police officers aren’t under normal employment law in most respects.

“They’re under something called police regulations, in terms of how performance is managed, or how misconduct is investigated and dealt with, it is more bureaucratic, slower, more difficult than normal employment law.

“And so actually these issues are significant, and I’ve asked the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to look at this, and the Mayor has asked them to look at it as well.”

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