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’t impact a whole overhaul, in accordance with one of the crucial damning ever evaluations of a British police drive.

Baroness Louise Casey was commissioned by the Met to analyze 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 revealed 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 way in which officers and employees had been handled contained in the organisation and in the way in which communities had been policed. It was failing girls and kids, failing to guard the general public from cops who abuse girls 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 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 in recent times, the way in which during which the Met has responded to them can be a symptom of a wider malaise in an organisation that has essentially misplaced its approach.”

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

The Met may now 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 underneath intense strain to revive the integrity of and confidence within the drive, and enhance its dismal report 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 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 employees 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 in opposition to girls and ladies a precedence, Casey mentioned public safety groups had suffered probably the most extreme reductions in assist, with overstretched and inexperienced employees having to take care of “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 triggered us to look onerous at ourselves’ © Aaron Chown/PA

The evaluate known as for the creation of a devoted girls’s safety service, a brand new kids’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” items.

Responding to her report, Rowley mentioned he was “underneath no illusions” about its significance and that he and his workforce would do “all the things . . . humanly doable” to implement its suggestions.

“These occasions have broken the boldness of London in its police and triggered us to look onerous 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 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, complicated” metropolis resembling 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 doable” in reworking its tradition.

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

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