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

London’s Metropolitan police is responsible of “institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia” and ought to be damaged up if it can not impact a whole overhaul, in accordance with probably the most damning ever opinions of a British police drive.

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

Following an interim evaluation in October, her ultimate report printed 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 youngsters, failing to guard the general public from cops who abuse ladies and was unable to police itself, she concluded.

Calling for a whole overhaul to revive the belief of Londoners, Casey mentioned the Met, with out change, ought to be stripped of its nationwide capabilities together with oversight of counter-terrorism.

“Everybody inside the Met . . . now must recognise that its failings go properly past the actions of ‘dangerous apple’ officers,” she wrote. “On prime of the unimaginable crimes of people and the stunning collection of occasions which have hit the service in recent times, the best way through which the Met has responded to them can also be a symptom of a wider malaise in an organisation that has basically misplaced its method.”

PC David Carrick was final month sentenced to at the very least 30 years in jail for raping and sexually abusing 12 ladies over 17 years © Shutterstock

The Met may now not presume, she mentioned, that it had the consent of the individuals of London — basic 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 yr, has been underneath intense stress to revive the integrity of and confidence within the drive, and enhance its dismal document in tackling crime after a string of scandals.

The most recent noticed David Carrick final month sentenced to at the very least 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 drive.

The drive, the evaluation 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 towards minority teams inside the drive. “Feminine officers and workers routinely face sexism and misogyny,” the report mentioned.

The report additionally highlighted the affect of funds 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 towards ladies and women a precedence, Casey mentioned public safety groups had suffered essentially the most extreme reductions in help, with overstretched and inexperienced workers having to take care of “overstuffed, dilapidated or damaged fridges to retailer proof”.

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

The evaluation referred to 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 providers as specialist capabilities.

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” models.

Responding to her report, Rowley mentioned he was “underneath no illusions” about its significance and that he and his crew would do “every part . . . humanly potential” to implement its suggestions.

“These occasions have broken the arrogance of London in its police and brought about 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 towards breaking the Met up, saying the transfer risked inflicting extra issues than it could repair in a “huge, complicated” metropolis equivalent 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 could be “radical and as speedy as potential” in remodeling its tradition.

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

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