Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Britain's largest police department said that 1,061 Metropolitan Police officers have been suspended or placed on restricted duties amid a crackdown on corruption and illegality.
Out of 34,000 officers, 201 are on suspension and another 860 have been placed on restricted duties, a proportion assistant chief constable Stuart Cundy, in charge of cleaning up the force, likened to being the equivalent of a small police force.
Another 450 are also under investigation after being accused of sexual or domestic violence offenses alleged to have occurred in the past.
Cundy told a press conference Monday that even with the 30 misconduct and 30 gross misconduct hearings a month he intends to hold -- meaning up to 60 officers potentially being fired each month -- it would take "one, two or more years to root out those who are corrupt."
"The harder we work, the more effort, the more energy we put into identifying those who shouldn't be in policing, and doing everything we can in the regulations and the law as it stands, the more difficult cases, the more difficult stories will become public, and rightly so," he said.
Firings in the past 12 months jumped 66% to 100, while officer suspensions surged almost 300% and more than 275 officers faced gross misconduct hearings, many for allegations of violence against women and girls.
The crackdown, part of an overhaul instituted by Met commissioner Mark Rowley following his appointment in summer 2022, follows a minimum 30-year jail sentence for a series of rapes handed to former officer David Carrick and a "whole life" term for raping and murdering a woman handed to former officer Wayne Couzens.
A separate internal report published Tuesday into the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection command, in which both Carrick and Couzens served, calls for a "complete reset in leadership, staffing, training, culture and standards."
It identifies serious failings in conduct and vetting and complaints procedures as well as a lack of supervision, "unsustainable "working practices and a gender imbalance that fostered a "boy's club" environment and deterred high-caliber candidates from pursuing careers in armed units.
Of the country's 160,000 police, only officers in Northern Ireland and specialist fire-arms units carry guns.
Couzens was on-duty PaPD officer at the time he abducted Sarah Everard off of a south London street before raping and murdering her.