Metropolitan Police launches anti-corruption unit to crackdown on criminal police officers

The Metropolitan Police is forming a new anti-corruption unit targeting corrupt and abusive officers and staff.

Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command will root out misogynistic, homophobic or sexist behaviour within the force, Met chief Sir Mark Rowley said on Friday.

Around 100 detectives and officers use new technology and tactics used in major crime investigations to track down “criminal colleagues”, the force said.

They will be looking into Met staff who are "predatory, who abuse their position of trust - for their personal, financial or sexual advantage – whether on duty, off duty, in person or online".

Sir Mark said: “As part of my commitment to renew policing by consent and to bring more trust, less crime and high standards to the Met, I’m investing in extra officers and staff, skills and technology to root out those corrupt or abusive officers or staff.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley has vowed to sack 'problematic' officers. Credit: PA

“We will be proactive and unrelenting in actively seeking out these criminal colleagues. I make no apology for this ruthlessness in evicting those who undermine our integrity as we seek to reform the Met and give the public the confidence in us they deserve.”

It comes as the Independent Office for Police Conduct has started a criminal investigation into the conduct of six serving and one former police officer linked to “discriminatory, derogatory or pornographic” messages shared in a WhatsApp group.

On Thursday a man in his 60s was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Communications Act and misconduct in a public office and has been released on bail, the Met said.

This followed a BBC investigation which claimed a government immigration official, who used to work for Scotland Yard, had been posting racist messages on WhatsApp.

Newsnight reported Rob Lewis had created a group chat with other former Met officers.

The Home Office said it had suspended a member of staff after allegations of gross misconduct.

Earlier on Friday Sir Mark promised officers will be removed from the force for “ghastly acts” during his tenure.

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