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#TheMet Documentary: Commissioner on LBC phone-in

Blog post   •   Jun 09, 2015 14:46 BST

Recruitment, race and the quality of access for the documentary-makers were among the subjects put to the Commissioner in a radio phone-in directly after last night's programme The Met: Policing London.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told LBC's Ian Collins that it was a risk to have the cameras in but the initial reaction from viewers, staff and officers was good.

"The 8.6 million people in London, and you know they pay our wages, they want to make sure that what we do is right.And I think the more we explain what we do, I hope the more they will support us."

A serving police officer called the Commissioner to ask him about reported comments that the Commissioner was looking to “disincentive older serving white officers”.

The Commissioner clarified that he had actually been talking about steps the Police Service of Northern Ireland had taken to increase religious diversity which included 50/50 recruitment, recruitment by an outside company and incentives for officers to retire early so that more new officers could be recruited with a more diverse mix.He made it clear there were challenges with diversity and these were the sorts of approaches other forces had adopted to help improve representation.

He told the caller: "Northern Ireland paid them to retire earlier. Now that's the only point I made.If somebody wanted to do that, that's in the government's gift. I didn't propose it but it was in that context I explained."

Asked for the Commissioner’s response to the Federation’s call for all officers to be armed with Tasers he said he felt with two equipped vehicles per borough and specialist firearms back up we've got the balance about right.If there was a clear operational need with more clear evidence he’d consider it but at the moment he didn’t think that was the case.

The Commissioner highlighted the current demands on the service investigating historical allegations of child abuse: “We have invested an awful lot more resources into two things.Historic investigations of child sexual abuse and historic claims of rape.That's taken a lot of resources…….as well as coping with what we're dealing with now from the new pressure around terrorism, cybercrime and sexual offences, part of that, the rise in sexual offence reporting is around these historic offences.”

And challenged about not getting the caution right in episode one of the documentary the Commissioner said: “The suspect complained about the broadcaster filming him.So we had to stop filming. I realised I got it wrong so I then gave it [to] him properly…….I think it’s been seven years since I'd last given it.People may understand why I got a few words wrong!”