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Met police commissioner job application deadline nears

Category: England

Published: 17th Aug 2011 02:45:06

Four of the UK's top police officers are in the running to be the new Metropolitan Police commissioner.

Applications to lead London's force must be in by midday.

The BBC understands Strathclyde chief Stephen House, Acting Met Commissioner Tim Godwin, ex-Northern Ireland head Sir Hugh Orde and former Merseyside head Bernard Hogan-Howe all applied.

The commissioner must be a "tough crimefighter", the home secretary says, and she has ruled out a foreigner.

It follows speculation that former New York and Los Angeles police chief Bill Bratton, who has been taken on as an adviser by the government, could be in the running.

The post of Met Police commissioner became vacant when Sir Paul Stephenson quit last month amid revelations about Scotland Yard's links with News International.

Mr House, 54, was born in Glasgow and moved to London with his family in the 1960s. He was contacted by the Home Office and asked to apply for the job. He spent six years in senior posts at the Metropolitan Police before becoming chief constable of Strathclyde in 2007, where he has won praise for tackling gangs.

Former Police Service of Northern Ireland chief Sir Hugh Orde is currently president of the Association of Chief Police Officers. He had been a leading contender for the job before and has played a key role among colleagues, leading negotiations with government over cuts and reforms.

He would be a popular choice among police but it is thought he may have clashed once too often with the home secretary to get the job.

Mr Hogan-Howe was drafted into the Metropolitan Police last month as deputy commissioner after Sir Paul quit.

Another possible candidate is Andy Trotter, head of the British Transport Police.

Meanwhile, the BBC understands that another potential applicant, Sir Norman Bettison, chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, has decided not to apply.

Home Secretary Theresa May publicly ruled out accepting applications from foreign police chiefs on Tuesday.

Mrs May said that as long as the commissioner was responsible for counter-terrorism, the job could go only to a British citizen.

Mrs May said: "I think it's absolutely important at the moment that we don't delay the appointment of a new Metropolitan Police commissioner.

"It's an Olympics year and the Met is facing challenges following the departure of Sir Paul Stephenson.

"It's also clear to me that as long as the Met retains its national policing duties, including counter-terrorism, the commissioner will have a unique policing role in relation to national security, and that is why the post has always been held by a British citizen.

"I absolutely believe that we will be able to find from amongst our ranks the sort of tough crimefighter equipped to lead the Metropolitan Police and drive down crime in our capital."

The new Met Commissioner will be appointed on the recommendation of the home secretary, who must take into account the views of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the Metropolitan Police Authority.

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BBC News, 2011. Met police commissioner job application deadline nears [Online] (Updated 17th Aug 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/178351/Met-police-commissioner-job-application-deadline-nears [Accessed 30th Aug 2014]

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