US supercop: I want to lead the Met

A former US police chief credited with tackling crime problems in some of the country's toughest cities has indicated he would like to succeed Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe as Metropolitan Police commissioner.

Bill Bratton said he would "take a look" at the job if the position opened up but insisted Sir Bernard was a friend and doing a "pretty good job".

The Government has announced plans to change the rules to allow police and crime commissioners to choose chief constables not only from UK senior ranks but from applicants with equivalent roles in countries with ''a common law jurisdiction'' - such as the United States.

The current legislation prevented US ''supercop'' Mr Bratton applying to take charge of the Metropolitan Police in 2011.

Mr Bratton gained a reputation for introducing bold measures to reduce crime, heading police departments in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

Asked if he was still interested in taking over the UK's largest force Mr Bratton told BBC2's Newsnight: "That remains to be seen. I happen to be, I think, a good friend and admirer of your current commissioner. I think that some of the recent statistics that I have seen that have been produced by the Met are very promising.

"And understanding that you have got political issues that are being wrestled with at this time over there... I've made it quite well known that at some point in my life that if the position were to open that would be certainly something I would take a look at.

"The position is not open and is not likely to open for a few years and in the meantime I think you have got somebody in the position there that's doing a pretty good job."