London’s police force is institutionally sexist, racist and homophobic, according to a new independent report investigating culture and behavior within the department.
While the force has been under intense scrutiny for months, The report, released Tuesday, offers a damning new assessment of the police department and perhaps the strongest condemnation yet of its inner workings. He called for changes to the force to fix a number of systemic problems.
The report says a “boys’ club” culture is rife in the department, Britain’s largest, which polices London but also has a host of national responsibilities, and details a number of institutional problems that have led to the lack of trusted. of the public
The report it was ordered in the wake of the 2021 murder of Sarah Everard by a police officer, in a case that rocked Britain and forced the spotlight on misbehavior within London police. Most recently, a London police officer, David Carrick, was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against 12 women over a 17-year period that included rape and numerous charges of sexual assault.
The organization’s response to these and other scandals included “playing down, denying, obfuscating, and entrenching itself to defend officers without appearing to understand their broader significance,” according to the report.
Mark Rowley, commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, said in a statement on Tuesday morning that the report should be a “catalyst for police reform” and offered a forceful apology.
“The appalling examples of discrimination in this report, the disappointment of communities and victims, and the tension facing the front line are unacceptable,” he said in the statement. “We have let people down, and I repeat the apology I gave in my first weeks to Londoners and to our own people at the Met. I’m sorry.”
While the kidnapping, rape and murder of Ms Everard, a 33-year-old London woman, prompted the review, several other high-profile cases, including that of Mr Carrick, have highlighted broader concerns about misogyny. within the community. Police department.
In February 2022Cressida Dick, then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, appointed Louise Casey, a member of the House of Lords, to conduct an independent review of the norms of behavior and internal culture of the force.
Ms Dick resigned following widespread criticism of her handling of problems within the institution. In an interim report released in October 2022, Ms Casey outlined a number of longstanding problems on the force. They included delays in resolving misconduct cases and allegations of sexual misconduct and other discriminatory behavior not being addressed. That report also found racial disparity in the way cases were handled.
Last year, a report from England’s official police watchdog made a similar assessment of the troubled force, warning that the force tackled “disgraceful” behavior after the investigation found widespread bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment.