OPINION - The Standard View: Londoners are long past being surprised at Met failures

The officer was attached to the force’s Met Operations Unit (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)
The officer was attached to the force’s Met Operations Unit (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

His crimes may be “historic”, but the case of former Metropolitan Police officer Adam Provan is very much a live one. Not only because there has been a fresh appeal for victims, but because of what it says about London’s police force, and who it truly seeks to protect.

Provan has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for raping a teenage girl and a female police officer. Presiding over the trial, Judge Noel Lucas said he was disturbed by how Scotland Yard dealt with initial complaints about Provan’s behaviour, noting the Met was “more concerned with looking after one of their own than taking her seriously”.

In a powerful statement, London Victims’ Commissioner Claire Waxman said: “For too long, the processes and culture of the Metropolitan Police protected and enabled predators like him.” The trust between police and citizens cannot be rebuilt until that changes.

In response to Provan’s sentencing, Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe said she was “sure the public will be as shocked and revolted at Provan’s offences as we are here in the Met”. The grim reality is, given the events of recent months and years, many Londoners were barely surprised.

Fright at the museum

The argument for the British Museum is that it is an ark, a place where artefacts of global significance and incalculable value are safe. This threatens to unravel when nearly 2,000 items go missing, some appearing on eBay, and the museum does little to stop it.

Whether complacency or cover-up, the point is if the museum has no ultimate catalogue, then there is no way of knowing what has gone missing. These archaic processes have come back to haunt it. The museum is the ultimate custodian of worldly treasures. With that comes outsized responsibility to protect them. The fear now must be what next will be found upon further excavation.

Diamond geezers

It is an album tease worthy of Taylor Swift. The Rolling Stones appear to have revealed the title of their new record through an advert for a fictional glass repair firm in the Hackney Gazette.

“Our friendly team promises you satisfaction. When you say gimme shelter we’ll fix your windows,” the poster reads with a website linked to Universal Music Group — something of a giveaway. Hackney Diamonds, an allusion to the smashed glass scattered from vehicle break-ins, looks set to be released in early September. Sir Mick, Keith and Ronnie — you have our attention.