The head of the Metropolitan police, Cressida Dick, has been forced to defend recruitment standards as leaked documents reveal cases of violent disorder, cheating and dishonesty among trainees at Britain’s biggest police force.
The incidents relate to recruits at the Met’s main training centre and will raise concerns about its ability to provide an effective service as sources within the force allege declining standards for trainees as recruitment has been ramped up.
One leaked document shows that, in July last year, a female recruit at the Met’s Hendon Police College was detained after punching and headbutting a police officer while allegedly under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Other documents reveal instances of dishonesty amongst recruits and emerge weeks after the force was accused of “institutional corruption” following an inquiry into the unsolved murder of a private detective.
The revelations will place fresh pressure on the Met and its embattled chief after a week in which Dick was roundly criticised after ticketless supporters stormed the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, the latest in a litany of scandals to hit the force.
The documents reveal that during an internal question-and-answer session in July last year, Dick was forced to deny rumours that an entire intake of Hendon recruits had failed the initial selection process but were still given a start date because “the Met needed the numbers”.