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Time Line 1970 - 1989

1970 Clear up rate on indictable crimes reaches 28%, the best since 1957.    

1971 The Commissioner (John Waldron) in his annual report said "With deep and lasting traditions the Metropolitan Police is an impressive institution by every standard and in any company in the world."
Sir John Waldron

Sir John Waldron

1972 Sir John Waldron is succeeded as Commissioner by Robert Mark.    

1973 Robert Mark works to restore the integrity of the Metropolitan Police, and 90 officers leave as a result.

Mark establishes better relations with the media by setting out a policy of openness.

Women police are integrated directly into the force.


1974 The Peel Centre at Hendon is modernised and reopended as the Training School.
training centre

1975 Robert Mark makes an appeal on television for ethnic recruits.

Balcombe Street and Spaghetti House sieges were both brought to successful conclusions by the Met.

the Spaghetti House

The Spaghetti House

1976 Major riot at Notting Hill Carnival, in which more than 400 officers and civilian staff were injured.    

1977 David McNee becomes Commissioner after the retirement of Sir Robert Mark.    

1978 An inquiry into police pay by Lord Edmund-Davies results in higher allowances and better pay to officers.    

1979 The Metropolitan Police celebrates its 150th Anniversary.

A new Force Inspectorate is formed, to provide a close and continuing assessment of the efficiency of all units of the force.


1980 Iranian Embassy siege brought to a successful conclusion after co-operation between the Met and the Special Air Service Regiment.

Formation of Metropolitan Air Support Unit with its own Bell 222 helicopter.


Bell 222 Helicopter

1981 Brixton Riots involve the Metropolitan Police in the largest civil disturbance this century.
Brixton Riots

Brixton Riots

1982 Sir David McNee retires as Commissioner to be replaced by Sir Kenneth Newman.    

1983 With the aid of the MPS Policy Committee Sir Kenneth Newman devises a new statement of the Principles of Policing, and in doing so changes the emphasis from the primary objectives of policing established by Richard Mayne and Sir Charles Rowan in 1829.    

1984 PC Jon Gordon lost both legs and part of a hand in the IRA bomb attack on Harrods in 1983. On 10 December 1984 he resumed duty by walking unaided up the steps to his new office.

Whilst policing a demonstration in St James's Square, WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot in the back and mortally wounded by shots fired from the Libyan People's Bureau. WPC Fletcher's murder led to the creation of the Police Memorial Trust, an organisation dedicated to placing memorials at the locations of fallen officers

1985 Tottenham Riots (also known as 'Broadwater Farm' riot) result in the murder of PC Keith Blakelock.    

1986 Identification Parade screens introduced at Clapham police station.

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act comes into force in January.

Mounted Branch celebrates its 150th anniversary.


1987 Sir Kenneth Newman retires, and is replaced as Commissioner by Peter Imbert.
Sir Peter Imbert

Sir Peter Imbert

1988 The Commissioner stresses the need for close community liaison between the Police and Consultative Groups to foster the police / public partnership.    

1989 'Plus Programme' launched to improve the corporate image and quality of the service of the Metropolitan Police. It significantly altered attitudes within the MPS, and included the Statement of Common Purpose and Values.