The Metropolitan Police has got too big for its boots

Gone are the days when the Metropolitan Police was led by men such as Sir Edward Bradford, whose qualifications were based on his service as a distinguished military officer – which included being half-eaten by a tiger while on colonial service in India.

Modern-day Met commissioners more often resemble politicians in uniform than military men with exotic scars. Much has also changed in the nature of crime and in Scotland Yard’s responsibilities. The Victorian force founded by Robert Peel in 1829 faced few of today’s challenges of serious crime and terrorism.

In 2011, the Met must not only police the capital, it must also shoulder responsibility for all counter-terrorist operations across the UK, as well as security for visiting VIPs, personnel for major state occasions and royal protection.

Unfortunately, Scotland Yard has found it increasingly difficult to meet these diverse demands – and the phone-hacking scandal has brought the organisation to a crisis point. In the Lords this week, Lord Blair, a former commissioner, asked if the resignation of two commissioners in three years meant that there was “something gravely wrong with the political oversight” of that body. It had not occurred to him that something might have been wrong with his own judgment and performance.

But the crisis in confidence goes beyond personalities, to fundamental issues of policy. Not only has its leadership been lacking, but the Met’s very constitution is in question. Like the Home Office in 2006, the case for reform is stronger than ever.

2 thoughts on “The Metropolitan Police has got too big for its boots”

  1. I agree with 99% of you statement but the rank and file do a tremdous job from what I have seen.
    However the last few weeks have been a kick in the cruth for the bobby on the beat who for a pittance puts his life on the line every time he goes on duty.
    It is to be hoped that the two who resigned are found to have been incompedent or neglgent that their gold plated pensions will be withheld.
    I am not a Londoner but follow you on you blog and twitter.
    IMHO you have been the breath of fresh air London needed.
    I look forward to visiting the capital these days when Red Ken was Mayor my wife and I avoided it like it had the plauge still.
    Best Wishes

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