Home Business News Lib Dems accuse Khan of ‘mismanagement’ as figures ‘paint a grim picture’ for the Met Police

Lib Dems accuse Khan of ‘mismanagement’ as figures ‘paint a grim picture’ for the Met Police

23rd Feb 24 1:08 pm

A staggering one in seven Met police officers have been taken off the London’s streets due to ill health, poor performance, or misconduct allegations, new research reveals.

Information obtained by Lib Dem London Mayoral candidate Rob Blackie under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) shows that 4,796 officers are currently classed as unfit for full frontline duty – largely due to sickness or misconduct charges.

This amounts to over 14 percent of the force’s 34,000 serving police officers.

The startling figures come shortly after Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, said the Met Police is facing a “deeply concerning” shortfall in officer numbers amid recruitment struggles.

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Sir Mark also previously hit out at red tape preventing the removal of underperforming officers. Speaking to The Times in 2022 he said, “We can’t as an organisation exist if we can’t deploy 10 or 20 percent of our people.”

Last year, an FOI request showed that 3,000 of officers were not fully deployable due to health or performance-related issues. A further 655 officers were side-lined due to serious misconduct allegations.

The latest information shows the situation has got worse, with the Met trailing behind other forces in England and Wales, whose average frontline deployment were listed at 91.1 percent on 31 March 2023.

Lib Dem Candidate for Mayor of London, Rob Blackie, said, “These figures paint a grim picture of Britain’s biggest police service. They show our thin blue line has become even thinner due to Sadiq Khan’s mismanagement. This is the Mayor’s single biggest failure of his eight years in office.

“Sir Mark’s call for urgent action over two years ago has not resulted in improvements. The Met is in a mess. It’s clear that Londoners are crying out for someone who will fix their police force.

“We need every officer out there fighting crime. That’s why I’ve pledged to reallocate £117m from Sadiq Khan’s Tube fare freeze towards policing to help unlock up to 500 more police on the streets.”

On Wednesday Sir Mark was giving evidence to the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, he warned that unless they can “make a sharp movement” numbers will fall further.

Sir Mark said, “Where we anticipate being at the end of March is around 34,000 ie around 1,400 light.

“We anticipate our projection for the next year based on current application levels, recruiting levels etc, unless we can make a sharp movement in that, is for that to drop by approximately another 1,250.

“So we would expect to be at 32,750 roughly at the end of March 2025.

“Now that is that is deeply concerning to me.”

Sir Mark said that the Met wants to free up around 3,000 police officers that are doing staff jobs, to replace them with civilians.

He said that pay levels are a big issue for London and police scandals are putting people off wanting to join.

He told MPs, “We’ve been looking at public sector employability and recruitment issues across London, and it’s pretty widespread across the whole public sector, which tells me it’s a pattern,” he told the committee.

“We’ve also thought hard about the sort of reputation and confidence issues.”

Sir Mark added, “I’m pulling every lever I have in my gift and asking others to pull the levers they have in their gift.”

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