Concerns raised over Metropolitan Police's performance
The Metropolitan Police is failing in several areas and urgent improvements must be made, the police inspectorate has said.
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His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded the Met’s performance across nine areas of policing and found the force was ‘good’ in one area, ‘adequate’ in two areas, ‘requires improvement’ in five areas, and ‘inadequate’ in one area – responding to the public.
HMICFRS said the areas requiring improvement are investigating crime; protecting vulnerable people; managing offenders; developing a positive workplace, and good use of resources.
In June 2022, the Met was moved into the inspectorate’s Engage monitoring process, which provides additional scrutiny and support to help forces make improvements.
His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said:
“For a considerable time, I have had growing concerns about several aspects of the Met’s performance. Our previous inspections explained some of these, such as our March 2022 inspection of the force’s counter-corruption arrangements, which described a range of systemic failures.
“The Met operates under scrutiny other forces do not face. This week alone, it managed superbly one of the biggest policing operations in history when Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest, just days after contending with the appalling assault on two officers in Leicester Square. Our latest report describes many successes and some examples of innovation. However, it also raises serious concerns about how the force responds to the public and the level of understanding the force has about its demand and its workforce.
“The Met must get better at how it responds to the public – currently, its call handling teams are unable to answer calls quickly enough. In addition, it isn’t correctly documenting the decisions of victims to withdraw from an investigation or to accept an out-of-court disposal. Recording victims’ wishes is vital to support the criminal justice process and to understand what is stopping victims from being able to complete the investigation process. The Met must improve in this area.
“I also want to see the force support its officers and staff more robustly. Investigations are not always reviewed or overseen properly. There’s an unfair allocation of work, which puts undue pressure on some staff. The force needs to properly understand demand to ensure it is allocating its staff and resources effectively.
“We did find some positives in our inspection. The Met is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and has developed innovative techniques to improve how it collects evidence and identifies offenders, such as its new forensic technique for detecting the presence of blood on dark clothing and its new rapid testing kit for drink spiking.
“Given our findings, we are now monitoring the Met under our Engage process, which provides additional scrutiny and support, and I will continue to closely monitor the force’s progress.”
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- In 2014, we introduced our police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspections, which assess the performance of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Since then, we have been continuously adapting our approach and this year has seen the most significant changes yet.
- We are moving to a more intelligence-led, continual assessment approach, rather than the annual PEEL inspections we used in previous years. We have also changed our approach to graded judgments. We now assess forces against the characteristics of good performance, and we more clearly link our judgments to causes of concern and areas for improvement.
- We have also expanded our previous four-tier system of judgments to five tiers. As a result, we can state more precisely where we consider improvement is needed and highlight more effectively the best ways of doing things.
- However, these changes mean that it isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between the grades awarded this year with those from previous PEEL inspections. A reduction in grade, particularly from good to adequate, does not necessarily mean that there has been a reduction in performance, unless we say so in the report.
- More information about the new PEEL assessment framework 2021/22 is available on our website.
- For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 07836 217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.