Met Police dismissal rules are being reviewed with new changes set to be announced imminently which will make it easier for the force to sack officers for misconduct, the policing minister has told LBC.
Chris Philp told LBC’s Ben Kentish that he has been working on the review at the behest of the Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, with the results “very nearly ready for publication”.
Mr Philp said during his phone-in on Sunday: “We are currently in the process of reviewing the dismissal rules.
“I have been working on proposals in Government since [the issue was raised by Rowley] which are very very nearly ready for publication and I think when he sees them he will be happy about it.”
He confirmed the review would be published in the early autumn.
Philp elaborated: “It is actually quite hard to sack a serving police officer even when there is clear misconduct – it is quite a bureaucratic process, you have these external lawyers for example”.
He added that he was hoping to make the process easier, in order to weed out criminal officers such as murderer Wayne Couzens and serial rapist David Carrick, who spent years in the force despite their offenses being reasonable well-known.
Mr Philp also touched upon the extensive reverting programme currently being undertaken by the Met.
All officers are being rescrutinised with new tools intended to show up any red flags that were missed in their applications.
Mr Philp told LBC: “The vetting that we have just updated should stop people like [Wayne] Couzens or [David] Carrick getting into the police.
“Obviously when you are recruiting 10-odd thousand people a year or more, ‘guarantee’ is a very strong word – but the police process, the new vetting process, and the new checks that are being done should prevent [sic] that happening again.”
London’s police force has been under intense scrutiny since 2020 – when the extent of the abuse undertaken by serving officers came to light after Wayne Couzens was charged and later convicted of the rape and murder of Sarah Everard in 2020.
Sir Mark Rowley, the commissioner of the force, was appointed to root out the crisis – and has admitted hundreds will need to be sacked in the campaign to repair the public’s trust in Scotland Yard.
Asked how many police officers have been suspended, he told The News Agents podcast: “We have well over 500 who are on restricted [duties] and several hundred who are suspended.”
He said the exact figure changes every day.
“I’ve said we need to get rid of hundreds of people. If you look back over the last few years, the Met has been sacking 50 people a year so clearly the answer is going to be a lot more than that,” he added.
“So it’s going to be hundreds of people we need to remove from the organisation who are a serious challenge.”
Sir Mark was brought in a year ago after Dame Cressida Dick lost the confidence of London’s mayor Sadiq Khan for her handling of the revelations.