Sir Mark Rowley, the new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, is to put more bobbies on the beat as part of his plan to turn round the beleaguered force.
In his first public statement after being appointed to the job on Friday, the former head of UK counter-terrorism policing pledged to “fight crime with communities – not unilaterally dispense tactics”.
This is expected to see an increase in neighbourhood policing, a more targeted approach to stop and search focused on arresting high-profile offenders, and greater efforts to divert children away from gangs.
He signalled his vision just eight months ago in a Policy Exchange paper where he criticised the Met’s “highly suppressive” approach to knife crime, involving a “disproportionate” stop and search rate and too few resources invested in community policing and proactive prosecution of drug gangs.
As well as pledging more effective use of technology and data, Sir Mark also promised to be “ruthless” in removing police officers who “are corrupting our integrity”.
Delivering ‘more trust, less crime’
“We will deliver more trust, less crime and high standards for London and beyond, and we will work with London’s diverse communities as we together renew the uniquely British invention of ‘policing by consent’,” he said.
His appointment, announced by Priti Patel, came just 10 days after the Met was placed in special measures by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMI), which found “substantial and persistent” failings, including sexism scandals and failures to investigate crime properly.
He returns from the private sector to the force he left four years ago after winning the backing of both the Home Secretary and Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, over the only other shortlisted contender Nick Ephgrave, the Assistant Commissioner responsible for front-line policing in the Met.