Revealed: Cocaine, cash and jewellery stolen by corrupt cops as scale of inept policing laid bare

Police look on as protests take place against Chelsea's involvement in the new European Super League outside Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Tuesday April 20, 2021.
Police look on as protests take place against Chelsea's involvement in the new European Super League outside Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Tuesday April 20, 2021.

The Metropolitan Police's approach to tackling corruption is "not fit for purpose", a damning report has found as it detailed a host of shocking revelations that currently blight the force.

Findings published on Thursday found the force has not learned lessons from the unsolved, high-profile 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan.

Since then, despite multiple recommendations aimed at tackling core issues within its ranks, the Met has been found to have a “degree of indifference” and has “fundamentally flawed” ways of rooting out corrupt staff.

The Home Secretary called in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) after an independent inquiry into how the force handled Mr Morgan’s case found it was institutionally corrupt, saying it had concealed or denied failings to protect its reputation.

Undated Metropolitan Police file handout photo of Daniel Morgan. The family of the private investigator whose murder 34 years ago remains unsolved are preparing to take legal action against the Metropolitan Police over the case. Morgan was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London, on March 10 1987. In June, an independent panel accused the Met of
Saniel Morgan, a private investigator who was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London, on March 10 1987 (PA)

The watchdog has made 20 recommendations for change must be “among the commissioner’s highest priorities” in order to restore public trust in the force.

Here Yahoo News UK looks at some of the most damning revelations to come out of the report.

Criminal connections

In terms of the recruiting new staff, the report said examiners were "far from assured that the vetting process is sufficiently effective in assuring the trustworthiness and reliability of new recruits".

In a force which is supposed to make a community feel safe, there have been a number of new people brought in who already had criminal records.

In the two years before the inspection was carried out, over 100 people who had committed criminal offences were allowed to join the Metropolitan Police.

In 2018, the MPS recruited 12 police officers with prior recordable offences.

In 2019 this number increased to 56. In 2020, it saw a slight dip, with 53 recruits joining with known offences.

Although the report admits "most" of the offences were "not especially serious", it notes they did include theft, handling stolen goods and wounding.

There were also concerns raised about officer's connections to crime, as some recruits were known to be "closely connected to known criminals."

Watch: Police presence for Sarah Everard vigil criticised


Across the board, the report flagged concerns with security measures in stations and evidence rooms gave corrupt staff "ample opportunity" to interfere with seized property and evidence.

In one of the stations investigated, the security code for a store was written on its door.

This led to theft, it was alleged, and in one unnamed station "drugs, money and jewellery could not be accounted for."

There have been "inconsistent" attempts at introducing security measures in the storage areas of homicide teams.

However, even with stricter controls - which included double entrance security systems and enhanced CCTV - there were at least two examples of missing evidence.

"One involved cash in the form of Dominican pesos (we were told that it was worth “a few hundred pounds” in sterling), which could not even be found when specially trained officers searched the property store," the report said.

"The other related to missing cocaine. The latter example is particularly disturbing: it was an important exhibit in a case and potentially of significant evidential value."

The Met also admitted that when pieces of evidence arrive at stations, they are often left in unlocked and unattended"transit rooms" before being processed.

In response to our findings, the MPS found that in the past five years, 3,428 items were recorded as "missing" for a variety of reasons - 0.05% of all items seized.

But despite the small percentage, HMICFRS said among those were high value items such as jewellery, cash and drugs.

Some property storage facilities were also not fit for purpose. The stores were overflowing with items, which were piled haphazardly - including firearms.

RETRANSMITTING ADDING EMBARGO EMBARGOED TO 0600 FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25 Commissioner Cressida Dick listens to Sergeant Becky Perkins (not pictured), who came up with the idea for Walk and Talk, at Peckham Police Station, south London. Picture date: Thursday February 24, 2022.
Commissioner Cressida Dick has resigned and will be leaving her position as the force comes under huge pressure for change (Getty)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/07/27: Metropolitan Police officers patrolling in Leicester Square, London. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Across the board, the report flagged concerns with security measures in stations and evidence rooms.(Getty)

Woeful security

HMICFRS described the administrative practices and record keeping as "woeful".

Over 2,000 warrant cards issued to personnel who had since left the force are unaccounted for, and the force couldn’t say where mobile phones and tablets had gone.

The report found that it indicated an organisation "not taking the risks of corruption anywhere near seriously enough."

Even officers and staff members in their positions may not have been properly vetted.

The MPS said that December 2020 they compiled a list of 4,200 designated posts that needed an enhanced level of vetting, including child protection, major crime investigation, informant handling, and counter-corruption investigation.

Despite the list being created, the Met admitted it "doesn't know" if everyone in these highly sensitive posts had been cleared to work.

This then causes "obvious risks", the report added.

Metropolitan Police patrolling on bicycles in Leicester Square, London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
HMICFRS described the administrative practices and record keeping as "woeful". (Getty)

IT monitoring - used by most forces to identify corrupt staff - was also raised as an issue in the force.

While it is a key component in rooting out those providing information to organised crime groups, targeting vulnerable people for sexual abuse and accessing police information unlawfully, the Met still "does not have the capability to proactively monitor its IT systems, despite repeated warnings from the inspectorate".

This is despite the force being told in 2019 it needed to invest in "suitable software" to protect information within its systems.

The report added: "The MPS is – by a substantial margin – the largest force in the UK yet is one of only a tiny number that does not have proactive IT monitoring capability."

Sexual misconduct

Sexual misconduct is a key issue which has increasingly been in the public eye following the rape and murder of Sarah Everard in March last year by a serving Met Police Officer.

The issue was further heightened earlier this year after messages between officers were shared which joked about rape.

Since 2017, HMIC has recommended the Met form links between their counter-corruption units and organisations which support vulnerable people. The report said there was "no evidence" this was happeningg,

Such organisations can be a valuable resource to help identify police staff who abuse their position of trust for a sexual purpose.The

The issues in identifying and reporting sexual misconduct is exacerbated through the aforementioned lack of IT monitoring, the report said.

But in speaking of previous suggestions to tackle the issue, the report added: "Our advice largely went unheeded.