The number of Met officers facing misconduct hearings has risen to 260, Sir Mark Rowley revealed on Wednesday as he issued a new warning that “ghastly” cases involving his force could go on for years.
The Met Commissioner said that although his purge of rogue officers had already led to a record number of dismissals, his determination to deal with past failures would “continue to bring awful cases into public glare.”
He added that “the reality of investigative timescales and court caseloads means this could continue for months and even years to come” and that he wanted to alert the public to the prospect of further disturbing revelations about his officers.
Sir Mark’s warning was delivered in an article for the Evening Standard written in response to the sentencing last week of rapist officer Adam Provan.
Provan was jailed for 16 years after being convicted of twice raping a 16-year-old girl and six rapes of a female former Met officer in a case which exposed a succession of missed opportunities by the Met to stop his predatory behaviour.
The trial judge said Provan’s crimes had “brought disgrace” on the Met and prosecutors are still considering whether to bring further charges against him over another alleged rape, involving a 17-year-old girl.
In response, Sir Mark told the Standard that he shared Londoners’ revulsion and anger at the actions of Provan which — like the crimes committed by Wayne Couzens, the murderer of Sarah Everard, and his serial rapist colleague David Carrick — had inflicted “further untold damage to the public’s trust in policing”.
But he said that despite “weak regulations” and previous police failings to enforce high standards he and other Met colleagues were determined to clean up the force.
“A record number of officers are being dismissed and more are being suspended while under investigation and we’re deploying tactics previously used against criminal gangs to root out those who have no place in policing,” he said.
The commissioner’s warning came as six former home secretaries wrote to Suella Braverman backing Sir Mark’s call for stronger powers to root out rogue officers.