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Metropolitan 2017

Read more about Metropolitan 2017

This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of the Metropolitan Police Service. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.

The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not yet graded.

The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below.

Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Matt Parr

HMI's observations

My overall assessment of the Metropolitan Police Service’s performance will be published in spring 2018, following the publication of the effectiveness inspections in March 2018.


How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

To be graded
View the five questions for effectiveness


How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 09/11/2017
Requires improvement

The Metropolitan Police Service has been assessed as requiring improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. In 2016, HMICFRS assessed the Metropolitan Police Service as good for the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.

The Metropolitan Police Service requires improvement in how well it understands current and likely future demand. It undertakes analysis to assess the demands for its services, including work to identify demands that are less likely to be reported and to better understand internal processes that create unnecessary work. An increase in 999 calls and staffing difficulties in the Metropolitan communications command have contributed to a reduction in call-handling performance, resulting in too many calls to the non-emergency 101 number going unanswered. This means that some people are not receiving the service that they need from the police. Initial response times in the two ‘pathfinder’ boroughs that are piloting the force’s programme to improve local policing have also increased, partly as a result of the transition to new ways of working. Systems for giving feedback are widely used but are not regarded highly by the workforce.

The force has made good progress in the areas for improvement identified in HMICFRS’ 2016 efficiency report, but it continues to require improvement in how well it uses its resources to manage current demand. It has built on the work it undertook in 2016 to understand the skills it needs in its workforce. However, a meaningful skills and capabilities audit has not been completed, which means that there are likely to be gaps in the workforce’s skills that have not been identified and addressed.

The force worked with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to set its priorities and take into consideration the public’s views on priorities in London. It has routine processes to help understand the demands for its services, though work to understand how changing costs will affect the level of service it can provide is in the early stages. The force is able to assess the financial benefits that it gets from changing the way it works, but further work is required to measure non-financial benefits. It is too soon to evaluate whether the force is getting a return for its investment under the One Met Model 2020 programme of changes, and collaboration work is still in its early stages, so benefits are anticipated and cannot be confirmed.

The force is good at planning for the future. It analyses different information to identify trends in demand; the results identified so far are being used to help plan how it will work in the future. The force is making very significant investment in new technology to improve the public’s access to its services, and the way in which it works. It is developing its approach to succession planning for senior leaders, and offers recruitment and development opportunities, mainly for officers, although development opportunities at an officer’s existing rank are immature. Its plans are ambitious and match its vision for the future, but its biggest challenge will be to make savings of £400m over the next three years.

View the three questions for efficiency


How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 12/12/2017

The Metropolitan Police Service is judged to be good in how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is the same as last year. The force is judged to be good at treating all of the people it serves with fairness and respect and ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully, but judged to be requiring improvement in some elements of treating its workforce with fairness and respect.

The Metropolitan Police Service is good at treating all the people it serves with fairness and respect. Force leaders show the value and benefits of procedural justice and the force ensures the workforce understands its importance. The force provides unconscious bias training, but understanding of unconscious bias varies throughout the organisation. It also provides communications training to improve how its officers interact with the public. Internal and external scrutiny of use of force is good and the force is compliant with the national recording standard. All aspects of the force’s arrangements for the use and scrutiny of stop and search are impressive.

The force is good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. It is co-founder of the London police challenge forum, which considers and advises on ethical dilemmas. Force leaders regularly clarify, and reinforce understanding of, what behaviour is considered acceptable and unacceptable, and are open to challenge about their decision making. The force has an achievable plan for carrying out re-vetting to ensure all vetting is up to date, and has made good progress against the other areas for improvement noted in our 2016 legitimacy report. The public can make complaints in different ways, although information about written complaints is not consistently made available to the public and is not targeted at communities who are reluctant to complain. We were not told of any formal process for additional assistance being offered to complainants, and records of keeping complainants updated are poor. The workforce understands discrimination. The force has reviewed its grievance procedure and is continuing its work to increase the workforce’s trust and confidence in this process.

The force needs to improve the way it treats its own workforce. It continues to offer its personnel many ways to provide feedback. It has carried out work to identify any unfairness in its recruitment, promotion and misconduct processes, and has taken action when needed. Some progress has been made in the areas that our 2016 legitimacy report noted as requiring improvement, including piloting a new performance appraisal process, and in general the changes made have been well received. However, the workforce has low levels of trust and confidence in its leaders and morale appears to be at a three-year low. The force continues to have good provision of workforce wellbeing.

View the three questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); others are joint inspections.

Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.

Key facts

Force Area

607 square miles


8.53m people 15% local 10 yr change


81% frontline 78% national level
5.3 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
14% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.07 per person 0.06 national level
Local 5 year trend National 5 year trend (no change)


87p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • The Met is the biggest police service in the UK and the largest city force in the European Union, serving a population of 8.17 million – up 12 percent in a decade.
  • The Met receives around 5 million calls annually and in 2015/16 recorded 673,000 victim-based offences. We have a wide range of units from routine patrol to specialist units e.g. counter-terrorism and royal protection.

Police and crime plan priorities

The Mayor’s ambition for policing and crime is to make London a safer city for all Londoners, no matter who you are or where you live.

He intends to do that while adhering to two key principles – putting victims first and reducing inequalities within communities.

As such, the priorities for the Policing and Crime Plan 2017-2021 are:-

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  1. A better police service for London –protecting the vulnerable, restoring real neighbourhood policing, transforming the Met for the 21st century and delivering the strategic policing capability.
  2. A better criminal justice service for London – putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system (CJS), reducing reoffending and working to reform the CJS.
  3. Keeping children and young people safe – protecting and safeguarding the vulnerable, reducing knife crime, address the gangs problem in London, reduce young people entering the CJS and cut reoffending.
  4. Tackling violence against women and girls – putting victims first and ensuring they get the help they need, preventing violence and enforcing the law.
  5. Standing up to extremism, hatred and intolerance – taking a zero tolerance approach to hate crime, work across London for social integration and safeguarding against radicalisation.

The Mayor is clear that local police priorities are best set locally and based on evidence and data. Equally, we are clear that high-harm crimes and organised crime must always be taken into consideration when setting local priorities. We are working with councils and the Met in each Borough to achieve this.