Letter: Corrupt police

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The Independent Online
Sir: The admission by Sir Paul Condon, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (report, 7 October) that "there is a significant minority" of corrupt officers" in his force makes a refreshing change from the usual bland assertions by some senior officers that the police must represent the public "warts and all".

But a more radical approach is needed than simply setting up special anti-corruption squads or changing the pension regulations to prevent bent officers from retiring on ill-health grounds.

Direct entry by outstanding candidates to top posts would obviate the problem encountered by senior officers who have been obliged by peer pressure in their rank-and-file days to commit indiscretions which could now be held against them as they try to attack corruption.

When the image of Scotland Yard stood supreme, during the stewardship of the direct entrant Lord Trenchard in the 1930s, the attitude of that Commissioner towards allegations of police malpractice was, "Tell the truth immediately". Perhaps a return to a similar philosophy would not come amiss in the 1990s.

JOHN KENNY

London SW19

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