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Crimes falling through the Met

Browsing the BBC News website today you might be fooled into thinking its April 1st; "Rebekah Brooks's 'reporters paid police' claim probed"

The cast of incompetents is only outweighed by the outrageous suggestion of the Met conducting a criminal investigation into itself.

The story is, predictably, about the endless NOTW hacking inquiry. Specifically about the comments from the sour faced Rebekah Brooks in front of a Commons select committee in 2003. She claimed, just before being silenced by the fumbling Andy Coulson, that she had paid police for stories.

Today, some 8 years later, the Met are considering undertaking a criminal investigation into the claims. It's the next in a series of 'too little, too late' actions by the Met in relation to the hacking inquiry, discredited more by the fact that it is announced by Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, the Kratos commander on the day of the Jean Charles De Menezes shooting.

It has been clear for sometime that the Met are in no position to investigate the hacking allegations. They may not have actual bias, although it is likely, but the level of perceived bias should be enough for them to have the integrity to hand it off to another police force. We all know, although it appears that the Met do not, that perceived bias is equally as dangerous as actual bias.

The allegation by Brooks that she has paid police officers for information is one that goes to the heart of the police service's values. It is important that this is investigated by a body that is capable of criminal investigation. The force that is closest, geographically, to the allegations is the Met. Not only are they closest geographically, but their independence from the NOTW has already been brought into question. These two factors undermine any Met investigation into Brooks' allegations, and means that the Met should be immediately passing the investigation over to a northern England force.

Having worked for the police for a number of years, i find the Met anomalous. The forces that i have worked for have been forward thinking, open to criticism, and demonstrated their understanding of the importance of police independence. The Met are the complete opposite, and they should be ashamed. They should be ashamed because they are 'the face of UK bobbies', and their action reflects on us all. For some reason they are stubbornly holding on to this investigation. It is either because they have something to hide, or because they are systemically incompetent. Either one is damaging to every police officer in the country.

The police service has fought systemic corruption well since the 70's and 80's. The actions of the Met with regard to the NOTW suggest to me that its unique organisation is still susceptible to the sorts of corruption that we have considered a thing of the past. I hate to say it, but the man to fix this is Boris...or Ken.