Met Police Axes Riot Squad Amid Overtime Claims Probe

A specialist riot squad at the centre of a probe into allegations its officers wrongly claimed for overtime has been decommissioned to cut costs, police said.

The Metropolitan Police said the withdrawal of the Territorial Support Group (TSG) unit based at Paddington Green in Westminster was "not linked" to misconduct investigations into some of its officers.

Disciplinary action is being taken against more than 20 officers over allegations relating to working practices, unauthorised claiming of overtime and bullying.

The force's Directorate of Professional Standards, which launched the probe in September 2014, has referred four police sergeants for disciplinary hearings for alleged gross misconduct.

Five constables were sanctioned for claiming four hours' overtime which they had not worked, the Met said, while a further two constables face misconduct meetings.

Another 13 officers have been "given advice about professional standards" following the probe.

The TSG is an 800-strong specialist task force which responds to spontaneous events, including terrorist attacks and public disorder, and played a key role in policing the riots which erupted in the capital in 2011.

According to the force's website, TSG officers are selected on merit and must show "professionalism, self motivation and excellent communication skills".

A Met spokesman said: "This is not linked to the decommissioning of the TSG base at Paddington Green.

"The TSG unit formerly based at Paddington Green was decommissioned in January 2016 as part of organisational restructuring to cut costs by reducing the number of buildings the task force operate from and improving efficiency by co-locating the specialist units of the command."