By Mehmet Solmaz
BIRMINGHAM, England (AA) - An independent report into the Metropolitan Police (the Met) commissioned after Sarah Everard's murder has concluded that Britain's largest force is "broken" and should be abolished if it cannot change.
The Met is 'institutionally racist, homophobic and misogynistic', the report said.
Recognizing the grave levels of public concern following the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met officer and other deeply troubling incidents, the Met appointed Baroness Louise Casey to lead an independent review of its culture and standards of behavior.
During the course of her review, another Met officer, David Carrick, was convicted of a series of rapes, sexual offences and torture of women.
The review began in February 2022 and was completed in March 2023, when the final report and recommendations were published. The review discusses whether the Met’s leadership, recruitment, vetting, training, culture and communications support the standards the public should expect. It recommends how high standards can be routinely met, and how high levels of public trust in the Met can be restored and maintained.
The 363-page report revealed many shocking incidents, including a female Met Police officer being “forcibly undressed” by a male officer in a patrol car, and forced to sit on his lap. The force, it says, has failed to protect the public from officers who abuse women. Londoners have been "put last" and the city "no longer has a functioning neighbourhood policing service".
The report revealed claims of rapists and pedophiles escaping justice after a packed fridge holding forensic evidence overheated last summer, ruining the samples. The coolers were reportedly held closed with bungee cords and officers contaminated the samples by keeping their lunch in one, the report said.
Casey said: “It’s symbolic of an organization that’s lost its way.”
In other shocking cases, a Muslim officer told how his colleagues left bacon in his shoes, while another officer said they were told to delete WhatsApp messages showing wrongdoing during meetings with senior officers.
Commenting on the report, London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The evidence is damning. Baroness Casey has found institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia, which I accept.”
Main opposition Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer blamed the government and said the police force will undergo a reform under a Labour government.
“For 13 years there has been a void of leadership from the Home Office, which has seen Britain’s policing fall far below the standards the public have the right to expect. The scale of change required is vast. But the lessons I witnessed from policing reform in Northern Ireland show that it can be done.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “There is much more to do and the task of rooting out unfit officers means that further unacceptable cases will come to light.”
- Over 1,500 UK police officers accused of violence against women
A total of 1,483 allegations of violence were reported against 1,539 police officers in England and Wales over a period of six months, according to a recent data released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
Only 13 officers and staff were sacked for misconduct, and nobody was fired as a result of public complaints.
The report, which is the first of its kind, has been put together with data gathered between October 2021 and March 2022. Subsequent national assessments will be published annually.
Just over half the cases were conduct matters, which are usually raised by personnel within the police department.
The remaining cases, 524 (45%), were complaints from the public. Almost two-thirds of the complaints from the public were about the use of force, while 9% concerned harassment, 6% related to assault, and 5% abuse of position for a sexual purpose.
For the conduct allegations, 48% concerned discreditable conduct outside working hours, while 19% related to sexual assault, 13% to sexual harassment, and 6% to abuse of position for a sexual purpose.