Met will root out corrupt officers with 'sophisticated' new technology
Met Police will root out corrupt officers with ‘sophisticated’ new technology that monitors phones and computers for ‘alarming’ key words after force was rocked by racism and sexism scandals
- Tech could also monitor officers’ movements while they’re on police premises
- It would also look at tasks like photocopying, serving commissioner told MPs
- Met hit by repeated racism, sexism and corruption scandals in previous years
The Met Police will root out rogue officers with ‘sophisticated’ new technology that can monitor officers’ emails and work phones for ‘alarming’ words in a bid to stamp out its culture of sexism and racism.
The software will also track their movements while in a police station and even monitor tasks like photocopying – as replicating large numbers of official documents could raise questions about corruption.
Acting commissioner Sir Stephen House said the force would also monitor factors like overtime and sickness leave to identify any problems early on.
Acting commissioner Sir Stephen House told MPs ‘tens of millions’ of pounds was being invested into new technology to monitor officers
A watchdog probe into Charing Cross Police Station revealed officers there exchanged sickening messages about rape, ‘killing black children’, and ‘f****** gays’.
Others have been accused of swapping racist and sexist messages with Sarah Everard’s murderer Wayne Couzens.
Dame Cressida Dick resigned as commissioner earlier this year after deciding that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, no longer had confidence in her.
Addressing Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee, Sir Stephen said the Met was responding to the watchdog report by investing in ‘tens of millions of pounds’ worth of new technology to monitor officers’ behaviour.
‘This would sit above our systems and would look at internal emails for keywords that were alarming, would check use of Metropolitan Police mobile phones that we have issued to our officers to check for the same thing, would look at the amount of overtime that is being worked,’ he said.
‘If someone is working a lot of overtime, do they have a financial pressure on them? Is there an issue there? It would look at sickness records, is there a problem there?
Officers have been accused of swapping racist and sexist messages with Sarah Everard’s murderer Wayne Couzens
‘It would look at misconduct and bring together huge amounts of information. Are they in a police station, for example, when they are not on duty and why?
‘Are they doing a lot of photocopying or a lot of use of a computer when they are off duty and, if so, why? What is going on there?
‘It is a very sophisticated tool, it will cost a lot of money to bring in, but we need to embrace technology and use it far more.’
It is not clear if the technology could monitor encrypted apps like WhatsApp if these are downloaded by officers.
Senior officers have met to discuss the ethics of the proposal but the Met is refusing to comment in more detail, The Times reported.
The force said: “To further advance our counter-corruption capability, we are preparing to invest a multimillion-pound sum in technology to monitor the use of devices by more than 40,000 officers and staff.
‘We aim to have this capability in place next year.”
During his committee appearance, Sir Stephen admitted it was not just ‘a few bad apples’ that are ruining the Met’s reputation and its problems go far deeper.
‘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.’
A watchdog probe into Charing Cross Police Station revealed officers there exchanged sickening messages about rape, ‘killing black children’, and ‘f****** gays’
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