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

London’s Metropolitan police is responsible of “institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia” and must be damaged up if it can’t impact a whole overhaul, based on one of the vital 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 evaluate 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 greatest barrier to fixing them”.

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

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

“Everybody inside the Met . . . now must recognise that its failings go nicely past the actions of ‘dangerous apple’ officers,” she wrote. “On high of the unimaginable crimes of people and the surprising collection of occasions which have hit the service lately, 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 essentially misplaced its method.”

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

The Met might not presume, she stated, that it had the consent of the folks 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 strain to revive the integrity of and confidence within the drive, and enhance its dismal file in tackling crime after a string of scandals.

The newest noticed David Carrick final month sentenced to at the least 30 years in jail for raping and sexually abusing 12 girls 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 evaluate 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 had been white and 71% male.

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

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 in opposition to girls and ladies a precedence, Casey stated public safety groups had suffered probably the most extreme reductions in assist, with overstretched and inexperienced workers having to deal 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 brought on us to look onerous at ourselves’ © Aaron Chown/PA

The evaluate referred to as for the creation of a devoted girls’s safety service, a brand new youngsters’s technique, and the reinstatement of sexual and home abuse providers 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 stated he was “underneath no illusions” about its significance and that he and his group would do “every little thing . . . humanly doable” to implement its suggestions.

“These occasions have broken the boldness of London in its police and brought on us to look onerous at ourselves,” he stated, 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 in addition institutionally misogynistic and homophobic.

Rowley argued in opposition to breaking the Met up, saying the transfer risked inflicting extra issues than it might repair in a “large, advanced” metropolis comparable to London. He additionally stated 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 doable” in remodeling its tradition.

Dwelling secretary Suella Braverman stated 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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