Hundreds of wanted criminals, including sex offenders, burglars and thieves, will be arrested over the next 100 days as part of new measures to boost confidence in Britain’s biggest police force.
Courts in London have been warned to expect a spike in cases following the Metropolitan Police crackdown.
It is one of five areas the force will focus on as new commissioner Sir Mark Rowley makes his presence felt, along with neighborhood policing, drug gangs operating in London, fraud and violent offenders.
Commander Alexis Boon said there is a cohort of people who commit the most crimes who will be targeted.
He said: “We have a particular focus on offenders who commit violence against women and girls.
“So those who are wanted for rape, those who are wanted for breach of orders, those who are there for stalking, sex offenders.
“And then finally, in this cohort of wanted offenders, we are going to go after burglars, thieves, armed people. You will see hundreds of arrests in these 100 days of wanted subjects, people we are going to bring to justice.
Sir Mark has also promised that a police officer will now attend every reported burglary in London – currently only half see an officer come out to investigate.
He rejoined his former force at arguably one of the most turbulent times in its history, with the Met plagued by a series of scandals and the killing of Sarah Everard by a serving officer, and put under some form of measures special by a guard dog.
But speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Sir Mark said the Met’s problems go beyond recent scandals, with confidence in the local police having plummeted in recent years.
He told reporters at Scotland Yard: “If you look at the data, Londoners’ confidence in the police where they live has dropped roughly in a straight line, by more than 20 percentage points over the past four years.
“There’s something more systemic there.”
Sir Mark said the force had failed Londoners and the ‘good majority’ of Met officers and allowed some individuals to corrupt the force.
“We have to accept that we have not been as ruthless and determined to maintain our integrity as we should have been.”
He joked that he will have the words “more trust, less crime, high standards” tattooed on his head for the next five years.
The commissioner outlined five key areas he will focus on initially – dealing with individuals who corrupt the force with “toxic” behavior; community crime control; get the basics, including dealing with burglary; addressing the concerns of disillusioned frontline workers; and stimulate the use of technology.
Sir Mark said he didn’t want ‘Woolworths policing in the Amazon era’.
Reforms will include issuing each officer their own work cell phone and reviewing advances in digital forensics.