Met Police to monitor officers’ phones and emails for ‘alarming’ language

Image above: Acting Police Commissioner Sir Stephen House

The Metropolitan Police are hoping to be able to root out corrupt and prejudiced officers by using a “sophisticated” new technology, which will monitor the work phones and email addresses of police officers.

The software will watch for “alarming” words in a bid to rid the force of its culture of sexism and racism. It will also track the movements of officers while they are inside police stations, monitoring tasks like photocopying – as replicating large numbers of official documents could raise questions about corruption.

Acting commissioner Sir Stephen House told MPs “tens of millions” of pounds was being invested into the new technology to monitor officers. Sir Stephen said the force would also monitor factors like overtime and sickness leave to identify any problems early on.

A watchdog probe into Charing Cross Police Station revealed officers were exchanging explicit messages about rape, killing black children and homophobia. Others have been accused of swapping racist and sexist messages with Sarah Everard’s murderer Wayne Couzens.

Dame Cressida Dick resigned as commissioner earlier this year after deciding that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, no longer had confidence in her.

Image above: Metropolitan Police officers

Police misconduct in west London piling up

Over the last year stories of police misconduct in west London alone have been piling up. The Chiswick Calendar reported earlier this year on a west London officer who had barely kept his job, receiving a two year suspended sentence for causing death by careless driving. The week before we reported a west London officer had been changed with rape.

Two weeks before that West London borough police commander Chief Superintendent Paul Martin was sacked for gross misconduct which included sexist bullying, misuse of police funds and failing to declare a conflict of interest. His colleague Chief Inspector Davinder Kandohla was also sacked for gross misconduct and a third officer who kept his job was also found to have breached Standards of Professional Behaviour, amounting to misconduct.

In February, two serving Metropolitan Police officers, PC Jonathon Cobban and PC William Neville, were charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network. They are accused of sharing the messages in 2019, with the now-convicted rapist and murderer Wayne Couzens.

Both have denied the charges against them and are expected to return to Westminster Magistrates court for a two-day trial starting on 28 July.

Cobban and Neville were attached to The Met’s West Area Command Unit and South West Command Unit respectively.

The Met suspended PCs Cobban and Neville from duty following the charges.

Image above: Metropolitan Police officers

It’s not “just a few bad apples”, says Acting Police Commissioner

During his committee appearance, Sir Stephen admitted it was not just “a few bad apples” that are ruining the Met’s reputation and its problems go far deeper.

“Language is really important in this and people have talked about “a few bad apples”,” he told MPs.

“Quite clearly that’s not the situation at all. It’s not a few bad apples.

“You can’t simply say that Wayne Couzens and a couple of other people have done something wrong.

“That’s been the spearhead of the problem, I would suggest. But there is a wider issue within the organisation which we acknowledge and we are dealing with.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: West London police officer sentenced for causing death by careless driving

See also: West London borough police commander sacked for gross misconduct

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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