Police officers have heavily criticised their bosses for creating a “culture of fear” over targets.

More than 200 officers contributed to research by the Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF) through a survey and interviews.

The report concludes that a “draconian” application of targets for solving crime has led to widespread bullying of officers.

The force has been accused of cutting corners to meet quotas, rendering targets meaningless.
The current system of targets was blamed for wasting police time and resources, causing low morale.

Scotland Yard has denied the claims.

Responding by email, one officer who contributed to the research wrote: "Every month we are named and shamed with a league table by our supervisors, which does seem very bullying/overbearing". 

Another said: "People are being actively discouraged by sergeants to deal with anything other than offences that count towards our targets.

"This means that officers are ‘letting things go’ in preference to other offences.”

In 2010, home secretary Theresa May called for the abolition of targets as a means of measuring performance in policing, but the practice continues.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: "We are faced with many challenges, not least delivering improvements against the background of a reduced budget.

However, despite this, we do not recognise the claim that we have a bullying culture.

"We make no excuses for having a culture that values performance. We have pledged to reduce crime, increase confidence and cut costs.

"We aim to be the best police force for London and are transforming the way we deliver policing in London so that we are efficient and effective and responsive to the changing needs of Londoners."

A spokesman for the MPF said: "The target culture is leading to bizarre situations such as officers squabbling over who is going to arrest a suspect and get the kudos of scoring another tick on their performance sheet."