The reputation of the Metropolitan Police continues to be under seige as Sir Paul Stephenson's former personal PR consultant was arrested yesterday.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Met's Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, employed a former News of the World Executive Neil Wallis as his personal PR consultant from October 2009 to September 2010. A member of both the newspaper editors' code of practice committee and of the Press Complaints Commission, Mr Wallis was arrested yesterday on suspicion of phone hacking. Calls for Sir Paul's resignation have begun.
The reputation of the Met is being eroded at an alarming rate. Things will continue to get worse until its leaders acknowledge the full extent of what is wrong and set out to fix the fundamentals. PR won't fix anything. It will only store up more trouble for the future
The Metropolitan Police Authority faces a challenge. They need a police chief who is not only competent but also sufficiently free of baggage and independently minded to be able to recognise and deal with the Met's fundamental problems. These urgently need fixing by someone who is determined to see and understand what they are. The question is whether any career policeperson can have enough detachment.
Time for a very senior commander of intelligence and integrity to be snatched from the Military? Some have considerable experience of security issues if not of policing.