LATEST NEWS / LONDON Police are look for a new chief after a terrible summer during which its boss suspend over the phone-hacking scandal and the force was extensively disparage for its failure to prevent riots.
A month after Metropolitan Police commissioner Paul Stephenson and one of his deputies resigned in 24 hours, the deadline closed Wednesday for applications to become Britain’s top police officer leading the country’s biggest force.
Stephenson’s resignation from the Met, as the force is known, came just weeks before Britain’s worst riots for decades explode, meaning his deputy was left in charge as gangs went on the rampage for several nights in the capital.
Four candidates are vying to become the third London police chief in as many years, a job which will require both a hardened crime fighter and a skilled political operator to raise the morale of the scandal-tainted force.
With less than a year to go before Britain’s biggest peacetime policing operation at the London Olympics, the new chief will arrive at one of the toughest times in the force’s 180-year history.
“At any time the role of police commissioner for Scotland Yard is the most prestigious and challenging police role in the world,” Blair Gibbs, head of the crime and justice unit at rightwing think tank Policy Exchange, told AFP.
“On top of that, we have the once in a generation challenge of the Olympics and the unprecedented level of international media scrutiny and justified concerns about the conduct and integrity of the senior leadership.”
The four candidates are believed to be Hugh Orde, a former Northern Ireland police chief; the Met’s acting commissioner Tim Godwin; head of Glasgow-based Strathclyde Police Stephen House; and Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met’s acting deputy commissioner.
There was speculation former New York police supremo Bill Bratton, brought in to advise the government after the riots, could be a candidate but Home Secretary Theresa May insisted Tuesday that the commissioner must be British.
Copyright AFP /2011