Metropolitan Police boss Mark Rowley promises to sack 'problematic' officers

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The new head of the Metropolitan Police has said officers will be removed from the force for “ghastly acts” during his tenure.

Sir Mark Rowley said there are a range of things that can be done to be “more assertive” in identifying people in the force who are problematic.

He was speaking after a BBC investigation alleged that a former officer had been posting racist content on WhatsApp.

Sir Mark said the Met has let the public down, as well as good officers who have not seen “the robustness and determination from leaders to sort it out”.

"That’s what I’m going to change," he said on BBC’s Newsnight. "So we rebuild our integrity by firstly getting rid of the people who are undermining it.

"Secondly, by the way we then work with communities.

"There’s a long journey ahead, but I’ve got so many great men and women. I know we will bounce back."

Pressed on whether there will be officers removed from the force in 100 days, Sir Mark replied: "You will see over my tenure, you will see more people being removed from the force for these sort of ghastly acts because we’re going to turn the stones over."

He said this will involve vetting, adding: "There’s a whole range of things we can do to be more assertive about identifying those who are causing us problems, at the same time as strengthening community policing and looking again at how we work with communities to tackle the issues that matter to them."

Sir Mark’s interview comes after the Met arrested a man in his 60s on suspicion of offences under the Communications Act and misconduct in a public office.

The force said the arrest followed reporting by the BBC. Newsnight reported on racist messages in a WhatsApp group used by former Met police officers.

Sir Mark has previously said he wants to be able to show the public that progress has been made in key areas in 100 days, and to bring the force out of a form of special measures in 12 to 18 months.

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