Met in hunt for new chief after hacking affair

Scotland Yard’s new commissioner will be tasked with “ensuring public confidence in police integrity”, recruiters have announced.

Sir Paul Stephenson’s replacement will take over by September on a five-year contract, an advertisement for the post said.

The Home Office and Metropolitan Police Authority began the recruitment process by inviting senior police officers to apply for “this unique post”.

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“With responsibilities for a national counter-terrorism role, policing London – the country’s biggest, most diverse city and its capital – and policing major events including the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, the new commissioner will ensure that Londoners, and people across the UK, can feel safe, confident that they are protected from crime and that their security is a priority,” the advert says.

The notice details how the successful candidate will “oversee and guide the Metropolitan Police Service through a period of transition” in governance.

“The successful candidate will have the duty of ensuring public confidence in police integrity, and be responsible for maintaining and improving services to the public,” it adds. “The successful candidate will demonstrate an outstanding track record in fighting crime; in managing change in policing functions; and in building the public’s confidence in the service at all levels.

“He or she will have proven leadership skills in operational policing, in working with partners and diverse communities, and in managing resources in complex organisations.

“He or she will be a key leader of policing nationally.”

Applicants – to be whittled down to a shortlist by the Home Office and MPA – will be serving chief constables or of equivalent ranks and be British citizens.

The appointment will be made by the Queen after a recommendation by Home Secretary Theresa May.

Following Sir Paul’s shock resignation over the phone-hacking scandal on Sunday, a number of senior officers have been linked with the post.

Frontrunners are tipped to include Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers; Tim Godwin, Scotland Yard’s acting commissioner; Bernard Hogan-Howe, acting deputy commissioner; Sir Norman Bettison, chief constable of West Yorkshire Police; and Steve Finnigan, chief constable of Lancashire Police.

Peter Fahy, the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, has ruled himself out of the running.

Earlier this week, the Met’s handling of the phone-hacking affair received a damning report from MPs, who accused Scotland Yard of “a catalogue of failures”.

The Home Affairs Committee said there was “no real will” on the part of the police service to overcome News Of The World publisher News International’s failure to co-operate with their investigation into hacking allegations.

The report criticised former assistant commissioner John Yates, who also resigned over the affair, and Andy Hayman, the senior officer who oversaw the original investigation.