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Reforming Action: Gross Misconduct in the Metropolitan Police Force

What are the New Reforms?


Reforms announced on August 31 will increase the power held by chief constables and senior officers. It will allow them the ability to automatically sack officers if found guilty of gross misconduct. This quicker process cuts out the role of independent lawyers who previously made this decision and will speed up the dismissal of corrupt officers.


Sir Mark Rowley has played a major role in advocating for this change, believing that force chiefs should make the ultimate decision on which officers should be sacked. He said on the matter that “the flaws in the existing regulations have contributed to our inability to fully address the systemic issues of poor standards and misconduct.”


Why Are They Being Implemented?


The number of officers found guilty of gross misconduct has appalled the Home Office.


Police officers Wayne Couzens and David Carrick are an example of the reason behind this crackdown on the disciplinary system of officers. In 2021, Couzens (a constable with the Metropolitan Police) was found guilty of the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard. In the same year, Carrick, another Metropolitan police officer, was guilty of raping, assaulting, and inflicting “irretrievable destruction” on at least 12 women before intimidating them into silence.


Couzens and Carrick are just a few of the officers abusing their position with gross misconduct. The Home Office has found that in 2022, 12 officers out of 267 found guilty of gross misconduct were not punished with dismissal from the police. Therefore, these reforms will attempt to rebuild the destroyed trust of the public in the police force, presenting a harsher intolerance to corrupted officers.


Are These Changes a Just Process?


According to the Inspector of Constabulary, Matt Parr, these changes are essential. Parr has stated that officers who “despite a history of attracting complaints or allegations of misconduct” are “successfully transferred between police forces.” These changes will bring a “significantly more rigorous” process to the “wholly unsatisfactory” police force.


Under these new law changes, independent lawyers will not be entirely removed but now play a supporting role in advising and maintaining “rigour” during hearings. In addition, officers who fail re-vetting tests can now be fired.


Edited by: Anwen Venn


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Tags: #Police #Reform #HomeOffice #Metropolitan #Officers


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