A damning review shows that the Metropolitan Police has failed women and children, with racism, misogyny, and homophobia at the core of the organisation.
One of the most scathing reports ever written on a major British institution is that of Louise Casey, who was hired by the Met after one of its officers kidnapped Sarah Everard and took her off a London street in March 2021 before raping and killing her.
The 363-page study contains horrific accounts of sexual assaults, which are typically concealed or minimised. According to the Met, 12% of women reported encountering sexism and 13% reported being harassed or attacked at work.
A “boys’ club” mentality, according to Baroness Casey, is pervasive and the force may be disbanded if it does not change.
Her one-year assessment criticises structural flaws and paints a picture of a force where rape cases were abandoned because freezers holding crucial evidence malfunctioned.
“We have let Londoners down,” said Sir Mark Rowley, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
In particular for “groups of colour,” who are “both over-policed and under-protected,” the capital “no longer has a functioning neighbourhood policing service,” according to Baroness Casey, and policing by consent is broken.
According to the Casey review, the Met’s senior leadership teams have been in denial for years, and systematic efforts to eradicate bullying and discriminatory behaviour have failed.
It claims that the force has failed to safeguard the public from police who assault women, and Baroness Casey stated that she could not rule out the possibility of the Met employing more police like Couzens and Carrick.
The investigation discovered a bullying culture, frontline police who felt let down by their bosses and were demoralised, as well as discrimination that was “built into the system”.
The Casey review reported that minority ethnic officers were considerably more likely to be reprimanded or let go, that Britain’s largest force remains predominantly white, in a capital that is becoming diverse, and that one Muslim officer had bacon shoved in his boots and a Sikh officer had his beard clipped.
The Met, which stops more individuals per capita than any other police, was found to have used excessive stop and search and force against Black people.
Several senior officials have mistreated women, including one who repeatedly harassed a female junior and engaged in an inappropriate act. She expressed her displeasure and informed the enquiry: “Suffering in quiet definitely would have been preferable, but I couldn’t do that. I was made to appear like the liar while he got away with everything.”
The study also detailed how male officers have flicked each other’s genitalia, discriminated against female coworkers, tossed bags of pee at automobiles, and put sex toys in coffee mugs.
The investigation offered 16 suggestions, including stronger independent control, drafting in outside experts, having frequent progress updates monitored by the mayor and triggering an immediate revamp of vetting in order to “protect against individuals who aim to misuse the power of a police officer”.
The Met must restore its frontline police service, allow for thorough investigations to be conducted in two and five years, and create a procedure to “apologise for previous errors and rebuild consent” in order to win back the trust of Londoners.
All firearms officers should be re-vetted, according to Baroness Casey, and the specialised Parliamentary Protection Diplomatic Command department—of which both Couzens and Carrick had been a part—should be dismantled in its current form.
In her conclusion, Baroness Casey said that “more extreme structural options, including separating the Met into national, specialist, and London duties, should be considered if sufficient progress is not being made at the stages of further review.”
This is could turn into one of the biggest society resets the UK has seen in the past decade. The Met Police must make monumental changes in order to not only restore faith in the public but to keep women, children and minorities safe.