London police force should be overhauled or broken up, says review

London’s Metropolitan police is responsible of “institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia” and needs to be damaged up if it can’t impact a whole overhaul, in keeping with one of the crucial damning ever opinions of a British police power.

Baroness Louise Casey was commissioned by the Met to analyze the tradition inside Britain’s largest police power after the rape and homicide of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, a serving officer, in 2021.

Following an interim overview in October, her closing report revealed on Tuesday laid naked extreme institutional defects underpinned by a tradition of denial, which she described because the “single largest barrier to fixing them”.

Casey discovered that the Met was responsible of racism, misogyny and sexism each in the best way officers and workers have been handled contained in the organisation and in the best way communities have been policed. It was failing ladies and kids, failing to guard the general public from law enforcement officials who abuse ladies and was unable to police itself, she concluded.

Calling for an entire overhaul to revive the belief of Londoners, Casey mentioned the Met, with out change, needs to be stripped of its nationwide features together with oversight of counter-terrorism.

“Everybody throughout the Met . . . now must recognise that its failings go effectively past the actions of ‘unhealthy apple’ officers,” she wrote. “On high of the unimaginable crimes of people and the stunning sequence of occasions which have hit the service lately, the best way wherein the Met has responded to them can be a symptom of a wider malaise in an organisation that has basically misplaced its manner.”

PC David Carrick was final month sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in jail for raping and sexually abusing 12 ladies over 17 years © Shutterstock

The Met may not presume, she mentioned, that it had the consent of the individuals of London — elementary to the British mannequin of policing for the reason that nineteenth century — to police them.

Sir Mark Rowley, who took the helm in September final 12 months, has been below intense strain to revive the integrity of and confidence within the power, and enhance its dismal document in tackling crime after a string of scandals.

The most recent noticed David Carrick final month sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in jail for raping and sexually abusing 12 ladies over 17 years. Carrick and Couzens served collectively within the Diplomatic and Parliamentary Safety Unit (DPPU) — which Casey recognized as a “darkish nook” of the power.

The power, the overview discovered, was additionally unrepresentative of the capital. Whereas 46 per cent of the inhabitants was from a black, Asian, or different ethnic minority background, 82% of Met officers have been white and 71% male.

There was proof of widespread bullying and discrimination in opposition to minority teams throughout the power. “Feminine officers and workers routinely face sexism and misogyny,” the report mentioned.

The report additionally highlighted the influence of finances cuts, with Met spending now amounting about £700mn — an 18 per cent real-terms decline in contrast with 2013. Restructuring, it added, had led to the closure of 126 police stations in London.

Regardless of vows from the Met to make curbing violence in opposition to ladies and women a precedence, Casey mentioned public safety groups had suffered probably the most extreme reductions in help, with overstretched and inexperienced workers having to cope with “overstuffed, dilapidated or damaged fridges to retailer proof”.

Metropolitan Police chief Sir Mark Rowley: ‘These occasions have broken the boldness of London in its police and prompted us to look laborious at ourselves’ © Aaron Chown/PA

The overview known as for the creation of a devoted ladies’s safety service, a brand new youngsters’s technique, and the reinstatement of sexual and home abuse companies as specialist features.

Different suggestions included the restoration of a visual police presence in neighbourhoods, and reform of misconduct procedures and discriminatory recruitment processes. Casey additionally urged the Met to disband “darkish nook” items.

Responding to her report, Rowley mentioned he was “below no illusions” about its significance and that he and his crew would do “all the pieces . . . humanly attainable” to implement its suggestions.

“These occasions have broken the boldness of London in its police and prompted us to look laborious at ourselves,” he mentioned, including that Casey’s report should act as a catalyst for reform.

However he declined to endorse her judgment that the Met was not solely institutionally racist — as discovered by Sir William Macpherson’s landmark inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence homicide in 1999 — but additionally institutionally misogynistic and homophobic.

Rowley argued in opposition to breaking the Met up, saying the transfer risked inflicting extra issues than it will repair in a “huge, advanced” metropolis akin to London. He additionally mentioned the DPPU couldn’t be abolished in a single day due to the character of its work however that he can be “radical and as fast as attainable” in remodeling its tradition.

Dwelling secretary Suella Braverman mentioned the Met had “way more to do” and that she would “proceed to carry [Rowley] to account to ship . . . wholesale change”.

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