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HomePolicingWATCH: Met chief says “numbers are strengthening” but “it is still significantly...

WATCH: Met chief says “numbers are strengthening” but “it is still significantly less than normal” regarding Met’s firearms officers at London Policing Board

In his opening comments at the inaugural meeting of the London Policing Board that took place yesterday, Sir Mark Rowley reflected on the coverage of the Met’s armed capability over the weekend, saying that “the numbers are strengthening” but “it is still significantly less than normal which will create some difficult choices.”

First meeting of the London Policing Board took place yesterday at the City Hall. The board will meet four times a year.

Members of the board announced last week include Stuart Lawrence, the brother of Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in a racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus in Well Hall Road, Eltham on the evening of 22 April 1993, when he was 18 years old.

Commenting on the firearms officers’ concerns during the board meeting, Sir Mark Rowley said: “I’m immensely proud of our firearms officers. They absolutely expect to be held to account and they know that’s really important in terms of trust in policing.

“Over the weekend, firearms officers who said they are not sure they can carry a firearm at the moment because they’re so anxious, had a significant effect on our capability.

“We’re now in a position where the numbers are strengthening and we can provide credible firearms cover for London.”

“But I must be honest, it is still significantly less than normal which will create some difficult choices,” Sir Mark continued.

“Officers are anxious and a lot of this is driven by their families. Many of them are under pressure from their partners, parents and children who are saying, I’m worried about what you might go through because of your job.”

Sir Mark Rowley also spoke about the ongoing mission of reform at the inaugural meeting of the London Policing Board.

Baroness Casey, who wrote the report on the culture at the Met, said: “Whether you call it institutional, organisational or systemic, you have a problem in the Met.”

London Mayor said: “I established the London Policing Board to accelerate the root and branch reforms of the Met’s performance and culture.  
 
“Today’s first meeting is another step towards achieving the much-needed reform Londoners have called for and rebuilding trust in our city’s police service.”

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