WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
June 11 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Officers remain on duty without vetting

Officers remain on duty without vetting

The Independent has reported that dozens of Metropolitan Police officers remain in the force despite having their vetting withdrawn.

In the last five years, 53 police officers had their vetting withdrawn while serving in the Met. A spokesperson for the Met explained that ‘after removal of vetting, officers can no longer perform their role or access any police systems and face gross incompetence proceedings.’

In April 2023, the Metropolitan Police Service became the first force to implement a new process, known as Operation Assure, for reviewing the vetting of serving officers and staff where concerns have been identified regarding their behaviour. This process arose after the convictions of serial rapist David Carrick and rapist and murderer Wayne Couzens who were both serving officers when they committed their crimes.

In February 2024, a report published by Lady Elish Angiolini found that ‘failures of vetting policy and practice are a depressingly familiar refrain in policy’ and that ‘Wayne Couzens should never have been a police officer’.

Last year, The Independent reported that ‘three-quarters of police officers and staff accused of violence against women are not suspended by their force despite the allegations against them.’ One of the issues regarding the vetting process is the lack of transparency. Habib Kadiri, executive of police reform StopWatch, states that ‘police chiefs, as a matter of principle, owe it to the public to be transparent about the decisions they make regarding the conduct of their officers.’

The chair of parliament’s Women and Equalities committee, Caroline Nokes MP, has said that ‘following high-profile criminal cases against serving Met officers, trust in the Met has never been lower.’

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