The new head of the Metropolitan Police has taken a far-right approach to policing, with a strong law office and a reputation for enforcing draconian anti-immigrant policies.
One of the UK’s most controversial figures, Paul Fletcher was appointed by Theresa May to lead the Met in June.
The 56-year-old former Tory Cabinet minister has been a vocal critic of migrants, arguing that they are a security threat and a drain on public services.
He is now in charge of the force’s counter-terrorism strategy, which he described as the “most important civil service” in the country.
He has been outspoken in calling for an end to immigration and the UK joining the European Union.
He also criticised immigration-focused policing in Britain, describing it as “the worst kind of terrorism”.
He is a vocal opponent of the Home Office’s controversial new Prevent strategy, where the UK has stepped up its enforcement of anti-immigration laws, and has described the UK as a “post-Brexit Europe”.
In his new role, Fletcher is set to take on a far more controversial role.
The Met has been under pressure from the Home Affairs Select Committee to change its approach to immigration, which has led to an internal review.
The panel criticised the force for not adequately addressing the increasing numbers of people arriving in the UK.
It said there was a “pockets of violence and discrimination” at the Met, with the vast majority of those it interviewed having been arrested.
Under his leadership, the Met has set up an Immigration Unit, which is tasked with “protecting the rights and interests of all people living in the United Kingdom”, and “providing guidance and guidance support to communities in their ability to protect themselves, their communities and their rights”.
The unit has received the backing of the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and the Home Secretary’s office.
The group is being set up to “assist communities to protect their rights and security” and is working on “an integrated and tailored approach”.
It is currently training staff to work alongside immigration officers to “build confidence in the immigration process”.
But critics of Fletcher’s leadership have also called for the unit to be scrapped.
“This is a police service that is designed to be the face of British policing,” said Nick Dearden, a former Met officer who resigned after it was revealed he had been arrested for an assault on a colleague in 2014.
“There is a huge amount of policing in the Met and the police are very, very good at it.
But we have to look at our role and where we need to focus our efforts.”
Fletcher has also been criticised for his views on the country’s role in international relations.
Speaking to The Independent earlier this year, he said: “Britain should be involved in the international community.
I’m a big believer in the rule of law and I think we should be a force for good, and we should do things that are helpful to our neighbours.”
“We have to be realistic, we have got to be pragmatic, we need a sense of the broader international picture, we also have to do things we can’t control,” he said.
“We are not going to be in the position that we are in now.”
The Met said in a statement that it was “concerned” by Fletcher’s comments.
But Fletcher’s appointment has come at a time when the UK is struggling with an influx of people, particularly in the form of Syrian refugees. “
He has been invited to comment to the committee, and it is our understanding that he will be asked questions during the hearing.”
But Fletcher’s appointment has come at a time when the UK is struggling with an influx of people, particularly in the form of Syrian refugees.
The government announced on Tuesday it would take a further 500,000 Syrian refugees into the UK, and a further 800,000 refugees from across Europe.
In a statement on the Prime Ministers website, Fletcher said he “will continue to work closely with the Government and police on its plans for a more integrated approach to migration and refugees”.
He added that “the Met is proud of its diversity and its commitment to working together to ensure we protect all people”.
“This includes those of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith, and all people of goodwill, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.”