The London police force, the biggest in the country, is institutionally racist, misogynist, and homophobic. And it may still employ rapists and murderers, according to a damning independent review released on Tuesday.
The study, written by government official Louise Casey, was commissioned in the aftermath of the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a London woman, Sarah Everard, by serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens two years ago.
However, another officer, David Carrick, has been sentenced to life in prison for dozens of rapes and sexual assaults dating back two decades, and several other Met scandals have surfaced.
Casey found the shocking crimes had been committed in a pervasive culture of “deep-seated homophobia” and predatory behaviour, in which female officers and staff “routinely face sexism and misogyny”.
Officers of colour face widespread bullying, while violence against women and girls is not taken seriously enough in the predominantly white and male force, she found.
When asked if there could be more officers like Couzens and Carrick – who once served in the same armed unit protecting MPs and foreign diplomats – Casey replied, “I cannot adequately assure you that that is not the case.”
“It is the police’s job to keep us safe as the public,” she said. “Far too many Londoners have now lost faith in policing to do that.”
Casey’s conclusions come nearly 25 years after the Macpherson Report, which investigated Met failures following the 1993 murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and recommended dozens of reforms.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that what was occurring inside the Met was “simply shocking and unacceptable” and that “there needs to be a change in culture and leadership”.
He did, however, support its new CEO, Mark Rowley, who was appointed after Cressida Dick was fired last April, in his efforts to “restore confidence and trust” through a draught overhaul revealed in January.
The 363-page review also said an “absence of vigilance” meant that “predatory and unacceptable behaviour has been allowed to flourish”.
Racism also exists within the force, with discrimination “often ignored” and complaints “likely to be turned against Black, Asian and ethnic minority officers”.
The Met’s investigations of crimes was also criticised, with the review saying that the force relied on “over-stuffed, dilapidated or broken fridges and freezers” to store forensic evidence.
A lunchbox was found in the same fridge as forensic samples in rape cases, and some appliances were so full they were strapped shut.
One fridge broke down, meaning the evidence inside could no longer be used, the report found.