Call for investigation into police ethics to address public trust issues
A senior member of the Tory party, David Davis, has called for an investigation into police ethics in the wake of the “plebgate” affair.
Davis is reportedly a close ally of Andrew Mitchell, who was at the centre of the controversy after he allegedly referred to police officers as “plebs”.
Davis described Scotland Yard as being in the middle of a “crisis of ethics” and made a number of suggestions on how it could improve public trust in the police.
A recent ComRes study found that 40% agreed that: “generally, the police seem to try to cover up wrongdoing by those in its ranks”.
One of Davis’ suggestions was to bolster the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) by giving it far greater powers, transforming it into what he called a “British Untouchables” which could be trusted to root out corruption and cover-ups within the force.
However, Davis’ most surprising suggestion was to put forward the idea that police officers should be equipped with cameras and microphones in order to monitor their conduct and help ameliorate public trust.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe threw his weight behind the idea, telling LBC Radio: “I think in principle it is a good thing…. In the Met we are having a pilot over the next few months which has about 400 officers who are going to wear these things.” Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also gave his unequivocal backing for the idea, telling the audience at Mayor’s Question Time that he was “totally in favour of it”.