The Met isn’t fit for purpose – too often it shows how policing should not be done

If the police have lost the faith of people like me – mostly law-abiding, middle-class local residents – then they’ve really lost the plot, writes Mary Dejevsky

Friday 19 March 2021 11:15
Comments
<p>Even reporting an offence is a discouraging experience</p>

Even reporting an offence is a discouraging experience

A few weeks ago, during the latest lockdown, I took my afternoon constitutional along the Thames Embankment, past – as it happened – the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard.

Carrying on towards Embankment station, through a broad underpass where all the “non-essential” shops were obviously closed, there was a large man, dressed in dark clothes, shouting, swearing and laying about him in what I felt was quite a threatening way. It was raining, and there were not many people around.

There were, however, three police officers, sheltering inside the station, talking among themselves. I approached them and asked whether there was anything they could do. They ignored me. When I asked again, they said that it was a mental health issue; they had talked to him, but there wasn’t anything they could (or would?) do. I asked whether they had called anyone who could help him. They said no and turned away. I had clearly exhausted my allotted quota of police time. Meanwhile, a private security guard from one of the closed premises had approached the man and asked him to stop threatening people and move on. I thanked him.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in