The Daily Telegraph

New Met chief has to put reforms on hold

- By Martin Evans

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.

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