In Brief

Scotland Yard policing its own officers with 'culture of fear'

Report hears that figure fiddling is 'rife' in London as Met Police officers chase performance targets

PERFORMANCE targets are creating a “culture of fear” and resulting in unethical behaviour at the Metropolitan Police Service, according to a new report.

Home Secretary Theresa May called for an end to performance targets in policing four years ago, declaring that a culture of box-ticking hinders the fight against crime.

However, today’s report, compiled by the Metropolitan Police Federation from interviews and surveys with 250 officers, suggests that such targets still exist and that they are having a detrimental impact on the force and the public.

Officers told researchers they were “almost continually under threat of being blamed and subsequently punished for failing to hit targets”. They described a “culture of fear”, with the force using “name and shame” tactics and unjust punishments.

One officer told researchers: “Every month we are named and shamed with a league table by our supervisors, which does seem very bullying/overbearing.”

Another said the Met “polices its own organisation through fear”.

Many officers admitted to “cutting corners” to meet quotas, which the report says has “clear negative effects on both the force and the public”.

A “huge amount of police time is being wasted” on targets, it said, meaning that officers are left with insufficient time to carry out regular, and usually more important, duties.

It also found that “unhealthy and arguably unethical behaviour has become the norm” in several boroughs. One officer said that figure fiddling was “rife”, while another described their unit as a “hot bed of policy breaches”, with the force and public suffering as a result.

The report says there is a "strong sense" that some performance targets are disguised. For example, in one borough they are called “expectations”.

In a statement to the BBC, the force denied having a “bullying culture” and said it made “no excuses for having a culture that values performance”.

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