PRITI Patel believes Scotland Yard is “absolutely the worst” police force and has lost patience with chief Cressida Dick, it is reported.
The Home Secretary is understood to believe the Met Police is rotten from top to bottom in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder.
Priti Patel reportedly feels the Met are ‘absolutely the worst’
She is said to have clashed with commissioner Cressida Dick
Ms Patel has also clashed with Ms Dick and is already putting plans in motion to bring the UK’s largest police force under greater political control.
She has grown frustrated by a culture of “defensiveness” and believes a reluctance to own up to their mistakes makes them “absolutely the worst”, The Sunday Times reports.
A Home Office source claims the Met chief infuriated Ms Patel when she allegedly ignored inquiries the MP made on behalf of Sarah’s family in March.
The source told the newspaper: “Priti told Cressida to cut the crap. She said this case is important and is of national significance.
“We have lost count of the number of conversations she had with Cressida and Steve House [the deputy commissioner]. They are not interested.
“It is institutional. They are very defensive. Policing is very defensive, but the Met are absolutely the worst.”
Ms Patel’s views have reportedly been bolstered following Sarah’s death at the hands of a serving Met Police officer.
Wayne Couzens used his warrant card to falsely arrest and handcuff the 33-year-old before raping and strangling her with his police belt.
Back in March, she visited Ms Dick before Sarah’s body was found and even asked if a police officer could be involved given the UK was in lockdown at the time, it is reported.
She also questioned how it was possible for a woman to “just disappear” from the street in London after meeting with Sarah’s parents Susan and Jeremy.
The Met have faced heavy criticism in the wake of Sarah’s deathCredit: PA
At the time, the Met was facing heavy criticism over their handling of a vigil for the marketing executive.
The first incident against him was reported in 2002 – before he joined the police.
Couzens also allegedly exposed himself in a McDonald’s in South London on February 28 – just three days before Sarah’s murder.
A similar indecent exposure claim against him was also made in Kent in 2015.
But a catalogue of errors allowed vile Couzens to roam free and murder Sarah.
Shockingly, Couzens was not given enhanced vetting when he joined the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Unit in February 2020 and also did not serve his full two years on probation in September 2018.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave has admitted a check when Couzens transferred to the Metropolitan Police in 2018 was not done “correctly”.
The source said: “I don’t think the Met has got their head around this yet in terms of what the Everard case actually means.
“The Met is like a horrible onion. You start peeling back [the layers] and you cry more and more.”
Ms Patel has already launched a nationwide hunt for a senior officer to take over from Ms Dick.
She has given the current chief a two-year extension to her contract to give time to find a suitable replacement.
But the Home Secretary publicly warned she would continue to hold her and the Met to account.
She has already announced the launch of a landmark probe into the force over their handling of Couzens that will focus on his behaviour and how his bosses at Scotland Yard dealt with it.
A second part of the inquiry will take in a wider review of the culture at the Met.
It will cover “professional standards and discipline and workplace behaviour”.
Ms Patel said: “Recent tragic events have exposed unimaginable failures in policing.
“It is abhorrent that a serving police officer was able to abuse his position of power, authority and trust to commit such a horrific crime.
“The public have a right to know what failures enabled his continued employment as a police officer.
“An inquiry will give the independent oversight needed to ensure something like this can never happen again.”
Wayne Couzens raped and murdered SarahCredit: PA
He used his warrant card to falsely arrest her
The Met have been slammed for their handling of a vigil to remember Sarah