Met bosses need culture change

London Evening StandardMy comment piece to the London Evening Standard, about the Metropolitan Police Federation’s report into a “climate of fear” with performance ‘targets’ in the police by Scotland Yard.

The Police Federation and I have had our differences over my fight against discrimination and corruption within the Met, but on the “climate of fear” within the Force I’m with the rank and file.

Scotland Yard ‘requires’ officers to do ten Stop and Search a month, then we wonder why black London is alienated. The Fed is right. The Met polices its own through fear. As a Special Branch Detective, my performance expectation was two terrorism stops ‘per’ shift. The Commissioner sees Total War on Crime as his personal battle with soldiers.

However, we are not at war on London’s streets. The language does not endure trust; you only have to listen to the young.

What Sir Bernard forgets at the Top of the Yard is that policing also entails staff happiness and public faith. Crime may be down, but so is confidence. The Met’s culture of fear has made it clear that if you don’t play the game, you’re driven out.

The police is a public service, not a news corporation. Let’s have real reform, with a leader who not only understands his or her people, but the people he or she serves. This has yet to be achieved.

Kevin Maxwell – former SO15 Counter Terrorism Detective, Metropolitan Police.