Two to three Met Police officers including alleged sex offenders to appear in court every week

Sir Mark Rowley admits there are more than ‘just a few bad apples’ in force, hours after Safer Schools officer revealed to be child sex offender

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Editor
Wednesday 25 January 2023 12:01 GMT
Met Police chief says two to three officers will face charges every week for months

Two to three Metropolitan Police officers will be appearing in court every week, including more charged with sexual offences and domestic abuse, the commissioner has said.

Sir Mark Rowley admitted there are more than “just a few bad apples” in the force and warned of more “ghastly” cases to come.

“Looking at the next few weeks ahead, most weeks there are two or three officers going to court for criminal cases,” he told the London Assembly police and crime committee.

“It tends to be a mix of dishonesty, violence and violence against women and girls type offences – domestic abuse, sexual offences etc - there’s probably two or three a week coming to court … there’s a trickle of them and we’re going to be surfacing more.”

Even more officers are to appear for disciplinary hearings, including a constable who admitted the false imprisonment of a woman after “using tape to restrain her wrists, ankles and cover her mouth”.

Sir Mark was questioned on Wednesday just hours after Scotland Yard announced that a Safer Schools officer had admitted a string of child sex offences, including grooming young girls.

PC Hussain Chehab appeared in court just days after David Carrick pleaded guilty to 49 offences, including 24 rapes, against 12 women dating back to 2003.

Following Carrick’s admissions, the Metropolitan Police conducted a search for other officers and staff who had been allowed to remain in the force after allegations of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse, uncovered more than 1,000. Forces across England and Wales have now been ordered to conduct similar checks.

Sir Mark said that some allegations were found to have been resolved, some people are being re-vetted and some new criminal investigations are beginning.

“While I’m confident we got many cases right, we have to accept there are many cases we got wrong and there will be people we’ve got to take a fresh look at,” he added.

“I’m not saying it’s just a few bad apples, it’s more than that - there are system failings … lifting the stone and revealing painful truths will not be resolved overnight. We have to prepare for more painful stories as we confront the issues that we face.”

The Metropolitan Police is also checking all staff and officers against the Police National Database, which holds intelligence outside criminal convictions, to check if there are others with previously unknown contact with other forces.

In the most recent case to come to light, PC Hussain Chehab admitted four counts of sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 15, three counts of making indecent photographs of a child and one of engaging in sexual communication with a child.

He is expected to be sacked at an upcoming disciplinary hearing, and Scotland Yard said he committed the sexual activity offences in 2019 before joining the force.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley appearing before the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

When questioned about the case, Sir Mark said the crimes had not been reported “until recently” and were not known about when Chehab applied to join the Met.

“It looks like the vetting procedures were sensible but sadly he was clearly an inappropriate person, we now know, to be in a school,” the commissioner added.

“Whilst the police he took part in grooming activity, it is ghastly. We’ve apologised to the victims and their families, they shouldn’t be facing that at the hands of a police officer, and it’s another one of these cases which will trouble the people of London.

“I’m sorry for that and we’re going to keep coming back to cases like this as we surface them.”

Some of the image offences were committed while Chehab was a Safer Schools officer attached to a secondary school in Enfield in 2021, and he was “immediately removed front the role” after allegations were made.

Scotland Yard said it was working with the school and local council to ensure there were no further unreported incidents or missed opportunities to arrest Chehab earlier.

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