Metropolitan police

A helpful suggestion for Taylor Swift’s boyfriends

Sir Mark Rowley should not resign. We must try to break our habit of getting rid of each Metropolitan Police Commissioner before his/her term is complete. He has done nothing iniquitous or seriously incompetent. He is, however, systematically wrong about the right to protest, elevating it over the much more important right of the general public to own the streets. His parlaying with self-appointed Muslim community leaders privileges them. The weekly Gaza marches in London are effectively mobile no-go areas. This was confirmed by the altercation between Gideon Falter and the police sergeant who told him he was ‘openly Jewish’. It was true that Mr Falter had willed such an

Why wasn’t Wayne Couzens stopped?

10 min listen

Today, the long-awaited Home Office-commissioned Angiolini Inquiry into Wayne Couzens has been published. Couzens had kidnapped, raped and murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard three years ago. The findings were chilling, revealing that numerous opportunities to stop Couzens throughout his policing career were missed. Katy Balls talks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman about where politicians failed Sarah Everard. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Met social media spend doubles in two years

It’s been a difficult year for the Metropolitan Police. Commissioner Cressida Dick was forced out in April after a string of scandals while the force’s broader handling of issues around racism and sexism has also been called into question. Given all that, it can be difficult to hire new officers willing to join the force; hence why it’s probably shelling out oodles on adverts urging LGBT+ applicants to sign up and a further £400,000 on a trailer which looked like a Bond film. And social media is being used more and more to further that goal it seems. For despite criticism that police forces across the country are too obsessed

Will Neil Basu’s past comments come back to haunt him?

Cressida Dick may be gone but will her replacement be even worse? The under-fire Metropolitan police commissioner quit the job on Thursday after five years in the role, meaning that three of the last four Met bosses have now been forced out in disgrace. Dick’s departure has prompted an immediate search for her successor. Unfortunately, one of the very reasons for her survival at the top for so long, was a lack of a viable alternative, with many top cops preferring quieter pastures than London or opting for greater riches in the private security sector. Perhaps that dearth of talent can be shown in one of the early favourites for the

Anti-police spin is tearing the force apart

The police watchdog, the IOPC, has recently released a report into social media conversations between officers — and it makes for uncomfortable reading. Some of the comments are appalling, full of arrogance, racism and misogyny. But as we get ready to shower disdain on serving officers once again, I’d like to raise the question: what effect do you think this constant castigation of all police officers has? The offending messages were exchanged three to five years ago between half a dozen foolish or morally weak young officers. They were a small part of the successful, crime-busting, 120-strong West End Zone Impact Team. Yet politicians from all parties — Sadiq Khan,

Fresh fears over parliamentary police

It’s been a pretty dreadful week for security at the Palace of Westminster. First, there was the admission that a Chinese spy suspect, Christine Lee, had donated thousands of pounds to Barry Gardiner’s office where her son, Daniel Wilkes, was employed as a member of staff. His access to the parliamentary estate was not revoked until he resigned yesterday, with Wilkes still being listed as a member of Gardiner’s Microsoft Teams group as recently as last night. It comes four months after Met police officer Wayne Couzens was convicted for the murder of Sarah Everard, with Priti Patel announcing on Tuesday that a new inquiry will look at whether any ‘red flags

Cressida Dick and the ‘institutional corruption’ of the Met police

The report by Sir Richard Henriques into Operation Midland argued that the Metropolitan police was institutionally incompetent, stupid and credulous. If the devastating report by the independent panel into the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan is to be believed, the force is also institutionally corrupt. The institutional corruption consisted of dishonestly ‘concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image.’ And the ‘failings’ which the Met tried to conceal or deny appear to have sometimes consisted of actual, old-fashioned corruption by individual police officers. The stench rises overpoweringly from every one of the report’s three volumes. From the very first vital minutes after the private investigator Daniel

British cops shouldn’t support Palestine – or Israel

Picture the scene. A female police officer — hi-viz police jacket, regulation black hat, facemask slipping from her nose — punches the air, proclaiming: ‘free, free Palestine!’ Her words are met with cheers from the crowd at the anti-Israel rally in central London that she was supposed to be policing. Actually, you don’t have to bother picturing the scene. Just watch the video clip below to see a perfect symbol of the toxic blend of state authoritarianism and hard-left politics that is creeping across British institutions today. After I posted the video on Twitter, the Metropolitan Police said it was ‘reviewing the footage’ and would provide an update ‘shortly’. One

Victims of hysteria

This week, 49,000 gay men were granted posthumous pardons. Had Harold Macmillan’s government taken notice of this magazine in 1957 that number would have been far smaller. After the Wolfenden Report, we called for decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting adults and at the time we stood out among Fleet Street publications in taking this view, earning us the appellation ‘The Bugger’s Bugle’. It would be tempting to think that the pardons, which form part of the Policing and Crime Bill, mark the end of a dark chapter. No longer, we are invited to believe, could good people like Alan Turing — himself pardoned in 2013 — be hounded to

Why don’t black lives matter at the carnival?

I do not get out very much these days, but the glorious weekend weather persuaded me that I should spend a pleasant afternoon watching people stabbing each other at our annual celebration of stabbing, the Notting Hill Carnival. I go most years and enjoy the street food, the music and the sight of white police officers with fixed rictus grins ‘getting down’ with some vast-mammaried semi-clad mama, their helmets askew and rivulets of sweat running down each crisp white shirt. And of course the violence, the violence. I am delighted to say that in this regard 2016 did not disappoint, with more than 400 people arrested and five stabbed —

It’s fatuous to outlaw an emotion – especially hate

A man in Austria has been sentenced to three months in prison for posting a picture of his cat on the internet. The photograph showed the cat, which has not been named, raising its right paw in the air in what appears to be a Nazi salute. It also had a side parting in the fur on its head and what we might describe as a distinctive moustache. Clearly the benighted creature was a fan of the controversial politician Adolf Hitler, and equally clearly the Austrians feel a little bit sensitive about all that business. Outrageously, there was no punishment whatsoever for the cat itself, which surely knew what it

Robocop returns

To the casual glance it looks like a normal police car — same markings, same lights, same faces at the wheel. Only the two small yellow circles, one at each of the top corners of the windscreen, tell you that this is a mobile armoury. It will often be a BMW X5: a SUV’s suspension copes better with the weight of the weapons, the gun safe, the ballistic shields. Inside, the occupants will be wearing Glock 17 pistols and have access to weapons which could include, in ascending order of bullet size and ‘penetrative power’, the Benelli Super 90 shotgun, Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun, the G36 carbine, the

The Met have found no evidence for an abuse network linked to No10. It’s time they admitted it

Almost exactly three years ago, Tom Watson stood up in parliament and demanded the Metropolitan police investigate ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No. 10’. It was an incendiary claim which, because it was made during Prime Minister’s Questions and broadcast on live television, set hares running on social media and beyond. We know, now, that the police found no evidence to support an allegation of rape made against Leon Brittan by a woman known as ‘Jane’. But the question remains: what about that link to No. 10? I have spent much of the past three years looking into this. Working for BBC Panorama means following the

Portrait of the week | 13 August 2015

Home The Metropolitan Police encouraged people to celebrate VJ Day despite reports in the Mail on Sunday (picked up from an investigation by Sky News) of plans by Islamic State commanders to blow up the Queen. The RMT union announced two more strikes on the London Underground for the last week in August. Network Rail was fined £2 million by the rail regulator for delays in 2014-15, many of them at London Bridge. A tanker carrying propane gas caught fire on the M56 motorway near Chester. England won the Ashes series after beating Australia by an innings and 78 runs at Trent Bridge; Australia had been bowled out for 60

The shocking truth about police corruption in Britain

Imagine you lived in a country which last year had 3,000 allegations of police corruption. Worse, imagine that of these 3,000 allegations only half of them were properly investigated — because for police officers in this country, corruption was becoming routine. Imagine that the police increasingly used their powers to crack down not on criminals but on anyone who dared speak out against them. What sort of a country is this? Well, it’s Britain I’m afraid — where what was once the finest, most honest service in the world is in danger of becoming rotten. Some of this was revealed in a little-noticed report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, which

The Tooting poisoner and the relentless rise of the urban fox

Cowering in the corner of a pet shop, I edged towards the door to try to escape as a stranger yelled at me. The man’s face was so puckered up and puce with anger that I feared I was moments away from being beaten to death with a ball-thrower or ham bone. I had only popped in to buy some dog food for the spaniel and now the spaniel was hiding behind me as a fellow customer shouted abuse. The lady who owned the pet shop was trying to appease the shouting man, who had his own dog with him, a scrappy little terrier who looked as terrified as the

Why I’m against posthumous pardons, even for Alan Turing

Ross Clark is a columnist I try to read because he is never trite. So I was sorry to miss performances of his musical play staged earlier this month. Shot at Dawn is about a sister’s quest for a recognition (after his death) of her brother, Harry Briggs, a soldier in the Great War who was executed for desertion. The play is sympathetic to the idea of posthumous pardon; coupled with this, it’s a lament that society punishes people without trying to understand why they do what they did. A second theme emerges: homosexuality, and the difficulty (then) of living with this in a world that does not understand. I