Sadiq Khan is to set up a board of experts to oversee reform of the Metropolitan Police, putting into effect a recommendation of Baroness Louise Casey’s highly critical review of the service’s standards and culture, published in March.
City Hall says the new London Policing Board, to be chaired by the Mayor, will be composed of “Londoners with diverse lived experiences and backgrounds and a wide range of professional and personal skills” who will “provide high-level, specialist advice, challenge and support” to the Mayor in holding Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to account on Londoners’ behalf.
It will meet quarterly in public with a view to increasing the Met’s accountability and transparency and “rebuilding public confidence and trust” in the capital’s police in the wake of a series of criminal convictions of officers, including for the rape and murder of Sarah Everard, and concerns about attitudes and competence in the service.
The Casey Review said such a body should be similar to the Transport for London board, also chaired by the Mayor, and that its task should be to “drive forward the changes called for in this review”. It was one of two specific oversight measures Casey called for. The other was for Rowley should continue to chair the new Met Management Board. Board members will each be paid £15,000 for 15 to 20 days work a year.
The Mayor said he believes he has “already put the Met on a path of far-reaching systemic and cultural reform” with the appointment of Rowley and his leadership team” and that the London Policing Board – which will be positioned above the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, which sets priorities for the Met on the Mayor’s behalf – will “publicly oversee and scrutinise these reforms”.
Rowley said he welcomes “this new approach to constructive scrutiny”, saying it will help Londoners “have confidence in the progress we are making towards delivering more trust, less crime and high standards”.
Last week, London MP Harriet Harman submitted proposals to the Home Office, drawn up in consultation with the Mayor, for legislation to make it easier to dismiss police officers who commit serious criminal offences or are found to be unsuitable for police work.
Information about the London Policing Board and applying to join it is HERE.
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