There has been a decline in Metropolitan Police staff using the confidential Rightline system to report alleged inappropriate actions by colleagues every year since 2017, new figures show.
This fall in use was put to Sadiq Khan by Labour’s London Assembly Policing and Crime Spokesperson, Unmesh Desai AM, at Mayor’s Question Time, with the City’s rep in City Hall saying it is “vital that internal procedures for calling out bad behaviour are trusted by Met Officers”.
Figures obtained by Desai through a written question to the Mayor of London reveal that combined phone and online reports through the Met’s Rightline system fell from 384 during the 2017/18 financial year to 296 over 2020/21- marking a 23 percent fall.
This is in contrast with the Crimestoppers national Integrity referral system, which saw an increase of 13 percent in reporting over the same period.
Desai has also requested data on how many reports resulted in investigations but has been informed that this information is irretrievable.
It follows assurances from Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick at a London Assembly Policing and Crime Committee in October, that their internal whistleblowing systems were “very good” and “quite actively used”.
And it comes amid increased scrutiny over standards in the Met after the murder of Sarah Everard by a then-serving police officer, Wayne Couzens.
The Mayor suggested the decreased usage of the hotline could be down to different methods of reporting inappropriate behaviour.
Khan said: “The hotlines shouldn’t be the only way the officers who are unhappy go.
“That may lead to a reduction to hotline numbers because there are now other things they can do.
“We need to completely transform the culture in the police service and be reassured that it’s been transformed.”
Two reviews have been launched into the Met Police’s culture, standards and practices – one is being conducted internally and a separate one is being led by Baroness Louise Casey.
Desai said: “The fall in use of the whistleblowing hotlines by Met Police staff is concerning and I am keen to get to the bottom of the factors behind this.
“With the Met Police trying to rebuild Londoners’ trust and confidence by reinforcing their standards and integrity, it’s vital that procedures for calling out bad behaviour internally must be trusted by officers in its ranks.
“At Mayor’s Question Time, I was pleased to hear Sadiq Khan reaffirm the need to transform the culture in our police. I will continue to scrutinise the work of the Met in this area to ensure their whistleblowing procedures are working effectively and serve the purpose for which they were created.”