Around 1,000 police officers have been suspended or put on restricted duties as part of a drive to clean up London’s scandal-hit Metropolitan police force, a police chief said on Tuesday.

The country’s biggest force has been hit by a string of scandals that have undermined confidence in British policing. They include the rape and murder of a young woman snatched off the street by a serving officer.

According to the Met, of the force’s 34,000 officers, 201 are currently suspended and about 860 are on restricted duties.

Met Police deputy assistant commissioner Stuart Cundy said the drive to turn the force around was likely to take “one, two, or more years”.

Around 60 officers could now face the sack each month for at least the next two years due to ongoing misconduct and incompetence hearings, he said.

The force was also reviewing the cases of officers who had previously faced allegations of domestic or sexual violence, he added.

In January, the Met revealed that 1,071 of its own officers were, or had been, under investigation for domestic abuse and violence against women and girls.

The admission follows a number of highly damaging episodes for UK forces, in particular the Met.

London police officer Wayne Couzens was in September 2021 jailed for the rest of his life for the killing of marketing executive Sarah Everard.

Couzens falsely arrested her on the pretence she had broken coronavirus restrictions before raping and murdering her.

In February, former Met officer David Carrick was handed 36 life sentences for a “monstrous” string of 71 sexual offences, including rapes against 12 women.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman on Monday announced plans to make it easier for police chiefs to sack rogue officers, including automatic dismissal for anyone found guilty of gross misconduct or who failed vetting procedures.

A review earlier this year found the London force to be institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.

© Agence France-Presse


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