The present crisis in the Metropolitan Police has its roots in a culture of impunity and unaccountability which has gone on for many years.

The litany of scandals, most recently involving multiple rapist and former PC David Carrick, the murderer of Sarah Everard, Wayne Couzens, the homophobic, sexist and racist attitudes of officers, revealed in dialogue discovered at Charing Cross Police Station, and the failings of the Stephen Port inquiry has brought the Met to its knees.

The Met has revealed that 800 officers are under investigation relating to 1,000 sexual and domestic abuse claims.

Many make parallels with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), calling for a similar disbandment and creation of a new service - as has happened with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Successive Conservative governments have under resourced the police, no doubt contributing to the present crisis.

Individual police officers have incredible power over ordinary citizen’s lives. These powers need to be checked and cannot be just handed out without accountability.

Abuse of that power destroys public trust in the police and makes policing by consent impossible. The good officers suffer as a result of the abuse of power.

There needs to be root and branch reform of the police. The criteria for recruitment needs examining. Equality needs to be a watchword. Also, the canteen culture, which encourages covering up for each other and the vilification of whistle blowers, needs to go. The make-up of the police needs to reflect the communities which they seek to serve. There need to be more women and ethnic minority officers.

Confidence in the Met hasn’t been as low as at present since the 1960s and 70s, when many officers were found to be operating hand in hand with organised crime.

At that time, the Government made Sir Robert Mark the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner. His ruthless measures weeded out many of the corrupt elements. Some 500 officers were dismissed, with several senior detectives going to prison.

Perhaps, a similar process needs to be undertaken today.

The new Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley certainly talks the talk about cleaning up the police but only time will tell. The processes undertaken need to be right to rebuild an accountable police service that can win back the trust of the public.

  • Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See