The Daily Telegraph
New Met chief has to put reforms on hold
THE new Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s plans to “hit the ground running” by announcing a radical package of Scotland Yard reforms today have had to be put on hold because of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Sir Mark Rowley had been expected to set out his vision for how he intends to restore trust and confidence in the force, while driving down crime in the capital.
The plan was thought to include a new back-to-basics approach with more officers on the beat and a renewed emphasis on tackling burglary, robbery and antisocial behaviour.
He was also expected to announce he would root out racism, misogyny and corruption in the ranks by bolstering the Met’s department of professional standards.
But following the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday, the announcements have been put on ice while the Met focuses on managing the period of mourning and policing the state funeral next Monday.
Sir Mark was appointed Commissioner after impressing Priti Patel, the former Home Secretary, with a plan to start driving through reform within his first 100 days in office. Scotland Yard is facing one of the most difficult periods in its history as it struggles to recover from a series of devastating scandals.
The murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met officer, the jailing of two others for taking photographs of murder victims Nicole Smallman and Bibba Henry, and the racism scandal at Charing Cross police station are just some of the issues that have shattered the Met’s reputation.
But friends of Sir Mark, who is a former assistant commissioner in the Met, insist he is not daunted by the task and is confident he has the reforming agenda necessary to repair the damage.
One of his first jobs will be to appoint a new top team at Scotland Yard who, along with acting deputy commissioner Dame Lynne Owens, will help steer the force through the challenging years ahead.
Another pressing issue he will have to deal with is the fallout from last week’s shooting by armed police of an unarmed black man in south London.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct has announced that it has launched a homicide investigation following the death of Chris Kaba in Lambeth.