I share Londoners’ revulsion and anger at the actions of Adam Provan, the former Met officer jailed for multiple rapes. Like Couzens, Carrick and others before him, he brings shame on a profession that I, and the many thousands of good officers I work with, care deeply about. His actions do further untold damage to the public’s trust in policing.
We do not shy away from the criticism and condemnation that these appalling cases deserve. However, I do want to highlight the shared determination I and the overwhelming majority of my Met colleagues have to confront past failings. This determination will continue to bring awful cases to public attention.
We’re deploying tactics previously used against gangs to root out those who have no place in policing
A record number of officers are being dismissed and more are being suspended while under investigation. We have invested in the resources and skills of our professional standards teams and we’re deploying tactics previously used against criminal gangs to root out those who have no place in policing.
We have also seen increased reporting of wrongdoing from our own officers, which is a clear sign of the honest majority’s commitment to change.
Perversely, as we succeed in this effort we will see more ghastly cases coming to light. The reality of investigative timescales and court caseloads means that this could continue for months and even years to come.
Even cases that don’t meet the criminal threshold take time to deal with. We have a list of 260 officers currently awaiting misconduct hearings. While I hope the Government’s forthcoming review of the dismissals process will give us back the power to deal with them swiftly, the backlog won’t be dealt with overnight.
For too many years, weak regulations together with poor resourcing and the neglect of our professional standards have led to missed opportunities to act against people like Provan.
We are delivering the strongest doubling down on standards for 50 years and this case — and others like it — show why it is so crucial we succeed.