- 21 Mar 23
The report highlights numerous instances of discrimination, including excessive searches and stops, particularly of black individuals.
In a recently shared report the Metropolitan Police (Met) is said to be broken and rotten, with suffering collapsing public trust while also being guilty of institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia.
The report by Baroness Louise Casey was commissioned after a British woman was taken from a London street in March 2021 before being raped and murdered by a Met officer in one of Britain's major institutions.
The more than 360-page report details disturbing stories of sexual assaults and reveals many cases of discrimination and violence. The majority of the assaults have been covered up or downplayed. Overall, 12% of women in the Met reported being harassed or attacked, and one-third of officers experienced sexism at work.
As a result, trust in the Met keeps sinking while the report showed that 50% of the public expressed concerns against the police, even before the revelations of recent scandals.
Louise Casey commented, "The Met has yet to free itself of institutional racism. Public consent is broken. The Met has become unanchored from the Peelian principle of policing by consent set out when it was established."
"Public respect has fallen to a low point. Londoner's who do not have confidence in the Met outnumber those who do, and these measures have been lower amongst black Londoners for years," she further stated, mentioning that a big impact came from the past leadership of the police.
'Today is without doubt one of the darkest days in the history of our almost 200 year old Met Police service'
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan spoke to #BBCBreakfast about a damning report which says racism, misogyny and homophobia is at the heart of the forcehttps://t.co/kLiR2WWUK8 pic.twitter.com/m79qihZ9PZ
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) March 21, 2023
Casey revealed numerous instances of discrimination that are "baked into the system," as well as structures of a bullying culture within the police. Minority ethnic officers were much more likely to be disciplined or fired as a result of this. Despite London being a culturally diverse city, most parts of the Met remain disproportionately white.
The report details a number of shocking stories, including a female officer who reported being raped by a colleague and was then forced to work alongside him, a Muslim officer who had bacon pushed into his boots, and a Sikh member of staff whose superior thought it would be amusing to cut off his beard.
It also mentions cases in which broken refrigerators were used to store rape kits, and police advised deleting compromising WhatsApp messages.
Following the complaint of a female junior who was repeatedly harassed and inappropriately treated by a superior, she said in the inquiry: "It would have probably been better to suffer in silence, but I couldn’t do that. He got away with everything, and I was made to look like the liar."
According to Casey the Met police is failing on many levels and faces a crisis that is existential. She said: “If sufficient progress is not being made at the points of further review, more radical, structural options, such as dividing up the Met into national, specialist and London responsibilities, should be considered to ensure the service to Londoners is prioritised.”
London‘s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has shared his view on the report about the force he oversees since coming to office. By chairing a new oversight board and placing the Met in some sort of special measure for the foreseeable future, Khan aims to have an impact.
"The evidence is damning. Baroness Casey has found institutional racism, misogyny, and homophobia, which I accept. I'll be unflinching in my resolve to support and hold the new commissioner to account as he works to overhaul the force," Khan said.
I asked for Baroness Louise Casey to conduct an independent review into the culture and standards in the Metropolitan Police. Read my full statement below on the publication of the final report. pic.twitter.com/DmXicv2hXn
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) March 21, 2023
Casey said that the Met has had numerous opportunities to reform through official investigations but has failed to take advantage of them all. She also warned that the police should not pick and choose the reforms they like, but rather those that are necessary.
Police officials have had access to the report for several days, and it is already being widely discussed. The first conflicts arose at the highest level following the publication of Casey's report.
Sir Mark Rowley, the force’s commissioner since September 2021, has said he will not use the terms "institutionally racist, institutionally misogynistic, and institutionally homophobic" that Casey used in her report for Britain's biggest force.
Kay: Do you accept the full findings of Baroness Casey's report?
Met Police Commissioner: We accept the findings...
Kay: But do you accept the FULL findings?
Why won't Sir Mark Rowley accept the force is 'institutionally racist'? #KayBurley FC pic.twitter.com/6Wspxt4STX
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) March 21, 2023
Rowley said he needs some time to study Casey‘s recommendations but accepts the findings. However, he refuses to use the term "institutional" since he sees it as a political one.
"I’m accepting we have racists, misogynists. I’m accepting, we’ve got systemic failings, management failings, cultural failings," Rowley said when asked if he was not accepting the finding.
"This is about an organisation that needs to become determinedly anti-racist, anti-misogynist, anti-homophobic. I’m not going to use a label myself that is both ambiguous and politicised."
So far, there is little hope for a reform of the Met. Andy Geroge, chairman of the National Black Police Association, said, "The commissioner is wrong to once again fail to accept the Met is institutionally racist. We risk repeating history and cannot let this moment pass as another missed opportunity."
Rowley and his deputy, Dame Lynne Owens, had previously served as deputy commissioners at the Met. Why they had failed to recognize the catastrophic state the police department had fallen into is something they both plan to reflect on in the near future.
Grave findings from Baroness Louise Casey on the Met Police’s failure to deal with institutionalised racism, misogyny and homophobia.
London’s Labour leaders have come together to back recommendations for fundamental reform & call for our communities to be at the heart of this. pic.twitter.com/K3h4XpjaDs
— Georgia Gould (@Georgia_Gould) March 21, 2023
The Met's elitist and hierarchical approach has ragged many frontline officers and decimated the neighborhood police. For the public, however, they are the first point of contact in most cases.
Casey stated that „the Met can now no longer presume that it has the permission of the people of London to police them. The loss of this crucial principle of policing by consent would be catastrophic. We must make sure it is not irreversible."
"It is rot when you treat Londoners in a racist and unacceptable fashion. That is rotten."
Leader of the Labour party, Keir Starmer, added “The racist, sexist and homophobic abuses of power that have run rife in the Metropolitan police have shattered the trust that Britain’s policing relies on and let victims down.“
“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 Home Office officials insist they have already put police reform measures in place. Home secretary Suella Braverman, who appointed the commissioner with Khan, backed Rowley by saying, "It is clear that there have been serious failures of culture and leadership in the Metropolitan Police."
“I will continue to hold the commissioner to account to deliver a wholesale change in the force’s culture.”
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