No fewer than 150 Metropolitan Police officers are under investigation over alleged sexual misconduct and racism claims, according to a report published by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act, representing a doubling of the previously-reported number.
It was gathered that 118 officers were on restricted duties over sexual misconduct claims, while a further 43 were facing investigation over racism allegations as of the end of November 2022.
The largest police force in Britain has recently been plagued by a number of scandals, including the murder of Sarah Everard by active police officer Wayne Couzens.
Only a few months later, two more officers were imprisoned for taking pictures of the dead bodies of slain sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry and sharing them online.
Scotland Yard blamed the rise in restrictions and suspensions on “concerted efforts” to persuade other employees to spot and report misconduct as well as the mandate that staff members report misconduct.
The Reclaim These Streets (RTS) collective, which banded together to organise a vigil in response to Miss Everard’s murder, was among the activists who were outraged by the revelations.
A spokesperson told the Guardian: ‘It’s extraordinary that we’re expected to pay to keep misogynists and racists on the Met police payroll.
‘It’s right that they’re suspended: women deserve to know that the person we ask for help in an emergency isn’t a predator themselves.
“But we have to ask how they passed vetting to be hired in the first place, how long their prejudice was allowed to fester in the Met’s ranks, and how many others like them remain in post.’
Sir Mark Rowley, the commissioner of the Met Police, insisted upon accepting the position that he was committed to rooting out criminal activity within the force and acknowledged to himself in November that it was “completely mad” that he employed so many officers who are suspected of misconduct and who are not trusted to speak to the public.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “I have got about 100 officers in the organisation who have very restrictive conditions on them because frankly we don’t trust them to talk to members of the public… it’s completely mad that I have to employ people like that as police officers who you can’t trust to have contact with the public. It’s ridiculous.”