Scotland Yard has admitted its policy of not bothering to ask prospective candidates who they are in job interviews before hiring them as riot policeman in the Metropolitan Police is possibly a mistake.
The flaw in Scotland Yard’s recruitment procedure was only discovered after PC Simon Harwood, who was cleared of unlawfully killing Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London in 2009, was mistakenly re-employed by the Met even though he had quit the Metropolitan police 8 years previously, shortly before a planned disciplinary hearing and a string of other alleged incidents, including punching, throttling or threatening suspects while in uniform.
The Met’s deputy assistant commissioner, Maxine de Brunner, conceded that Harwood should never have been allowed to re-join the force without at least first being asked his name and possibly being required to give other detailed background information, such as his date of birth and address:
It is clear that insufficient recording and checks meant that detailed information such as his identity was not shared at key points of the recruitment process. Since then there have been huge changes to vetting processes and now all applicants for the Metropolitan Police must tell us who they are before we put them in a uniform and let them loose on the public.
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