Met Police's temporary boss admits it's not just 'a few bad apples'
Cressida’s replacement sticks the boot in: Met Police’s temporary boss admits there are more than just a ‘few bad apples’ in the force – and warns Wayne Couzens and others were the ‘spearhead’ of the problem
- Sir Stephen House tells MPs there is a need for ‘more sensitivity’ from officers
- He is Scotland Yard’s acting commissioner following Dame Cressida Dick’s exit
- The Met Police’s temporary boss tells a committee it’s not just ‘a few bad apples’
The Metropolitan Police’s acting boss has admitted it’s not just ‘a few bad apples’ that have put the under-fire force into difficulty and there is a ‘wider issue’ within London’s police service.
Sir Stephen House, who is standing in as Scotland Yard’s temporary commissioner following the depature of Dame Cressida Dick, today told MPs there was a need for ‘more sensitivity’ from the capital’s police officers.
The Met Police has been rocked by a series of recent scandals over the past year.
These included the killing of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, the policing of a vigil for the murdered 33-year-old, a damning report into the behaviour of officers at Charing Cross police station, and the strip search of 15-year-old girl, known as Child Q.
Appearing before the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee today, Sir Stephen acknowleged that issues within the force were not just down to a few rogue individuals.
‘Language is really important in this and people have talked about “a few bad apples”,’ he told MPs.
‘Quite clearly that’s not the situation at all. It’s not a few bad apples.
‘You can’t simply say that Wayne Couzens and a couple of other people have done something wrong.
‘That’s been the spearhead of the problem, I would suggest.
‘But there is a wider issue within the organisation which we acknowledge and we are dealing with.’
Sir Stephen House, who is standing in as Scotland Yard’s temporary commissioner following the depature of Dame Cressida Dick, today told MPs there was a need for ‘more sensitivity’ from the capital’s police officers
The Met Police has been rocked by a series of recent scandals over the past year. These include the killing of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, the policing of a vigil for the murdered 33-year-old, a damning report into the behaviour of officers at Charing Cross police station, and the strip search of 15-year-old girl, known as Child Q
Sir Stephen told MPs that ‘it’s not a few bad apples’, adding: ‘You can’t simply say that Wayne Couzens and a couple of other people have done something wrong’
Sir Stephen added that public confidence in the Met Police was ‘a big issue for us’, as he suggested there needed to be an overhaul of the force’s attitudes.
He took over from Dame Cressida when she quit as Scotland Yard’s commissioner after losing the confidence of London mayor Sadiq Khan, who was ‘not satisfied’ with her response to the damning report into the behaviour of Charing Cross officers.
Officers were found to have joked about rape, killing black children and beating their wives.
‘It’s not enough to say it’s a few bad apples,’ Sir Stephen told the committee today.
‘There is an issue there where we need to address an attitude within the organisation of misogyny and too many officers being insensitive to race issues, to issues of gender, issues of sexual orientation.
‘We need to get more sensitivity when we’re dealing with that and we’re working very hard with our officers.’
However, Sir Stephen insisted that the majority of Met Police officers and staff were also ‘angry’ about the recent controversies to have hit their force.
‘They feel under siege by this,’ he said.
‘They feel as though everybody is criticising them and not giving credit for the decent job the vast majority are doing.
‘This is why I say language is difficult, it’s not a few bad apples but I am still very, very confident the vast majority of officers and staff are coming to work to do the job they swore when they joined they would do – to treat people fairly and without fear or favour.’
Sir Stephen also said it was ‘wrong to say there is one culture’ within the Met Police.
‘The Met is made up of 43,000 people and many of them do different jobs, in different units in different ways,’ he added.
‘And they have different sub-cultures. What I’m looking at are the values of the organisation.
‘The values of the organisation are very clear to people inside the organisation; it’s about being professional, it’s about having integrity, courage, compassion and treating people with respect.
‘That’s the common standard we demand from all of our officers and our staff.
‘And if they don’t live up to that standard, that’s where we bring in misconduct or indeed criminal prosecution.
‘I don’t believe a culture across the organisation is the wrong culture, but I believe that there are challenges to the way our officers percieve the public and how they go about their job and we need to deal with that.’
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