OPINION - The Standard View: Rooting out sexual predators from the ranks of the Met is an essential task

 (Christian Adams)
(Christian Adams)

Rooting out sexual predators from the ranks of the Metropolitan Police — trying to prevent another David Carrick or Wayne Couzens — is an essential task. To that end, Scotland Yard is deploying covert officers into “toxic” police stations and specialist units, and launching a UK-first plan to re-vet staff.

This is imperative because Couzens, who murdered Sarah Everard, and Carrick, a serial rapist, continued to work in the same elite Met armed unit despite previous sexual complaints. Indeed, we now know that multiple opportunities were missed to dismiss Couzens and Carrick. Only today, it has emerged that a Pc sacked for punching a woman in the face had a history of improper use of force but kept his role.

The Met is right to explore all avenues to rid itself of dangerous officers. But it also comes days before what is expected to be an excoriating review by Louise Casey. Baroness Casey’s interim report, published in October, identified numerous claims of sexual misconduct, racism, misogyny and homophobia that were not handled properly or took far too long to resolve.

The reality is that the recent scandals to rock the Met were not isolated incidents carried out by a few rogue cops. They were the result of a culture, years in the making, that fostered people who should never have been police officers. Wearing the badge of the Met ought to demand the highest standards and in doing so help to earn high levels of public trust. If Tuesday’s report represents rock bottom, let it also be the moment London’s police force pulls back from the brink.

Progress on strikes

At last. Strike action by nurses and paramedics has been put on hold after unions accepted a pay deal involving a five per cent pay rise and a one-off lump sum for this financial year — something called for in these pages months ago. In turn, we may now see movement on junior doctors, with talks taking place this afternoon.

This is what negotiating in good faith can achieve. Unions were never likely — and hardly expected — to achieve inflation-busting pay deals. But keeping channels of communication open and compromising on a reasonable settlement was the only solution to this impasse. It is a lesson the Government may belatedly be learning when it comes to teachers, with talks now agreed. There are no easy solutions or infinite pots of money but the fundamentals remain: talking, rather than posturing, gets results.

Let the Guinness flow

The Chicago River has turned green, shamrocks are on display and people who do not usually drink Guinness are trying it out. It must be St Patrick’s Day — and the capital is pulling out all the stops to make it a special one.

To London’s long-standing and flourishing Irish community, may your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.